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[nair-ee] /ˈnɛər i/
adjective, Older Use.
not any; no; never a:
nary a sound.
Origin of nary
First recorded in 1740-50; variant of ne'er a never a Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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Examples from the Web for nary
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • Hope with empty pockets is rich compared to wealth with "nary a" hope.

  • But I noticed that he hadn't spoke for nary Conservative but himself.

    The Depot Master Joseph C. Lincoln
  • But nary sign was there of a private secretary and assistant.

    The Depot Master Joseph C. Lincoln
  • I didn't rescue that scalawag because I had any Christian sentiments, nary bit.

    Blazed Trail Stories Stewart Edward White
  • "nary a worm," he exclaimed in disgust, as he threw the tin into the lake.

    A Son of the City

    Herman Gastrell Seely
British Dictionary definitions for nary


(dialect) not; never: nary a man was left
Word Origin
C19: variant of ne'er a never a
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for nary

1746, alteration of ne'er a, short for never a.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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