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  1. Usually wares.
    1. articles of merchandise or manufacture; goods: a peddler selling his wares.
    2. any intangible items, as services or products of artistic or intellectual creativity, that are salable: an actor advertising his wares.
  2. a specified kind or class of merchandise or of manufactured article (usually used in combination): silverware; glassware.See also -ware.
  3. pottery, or a particular kind of pottery: delft ware.
  4. Archaeology. a group of ceramic types classified according to paste and texture, surface modification, as burnish or glaze, and decorative motifs rather than shape and color.

Origin of ware1

before 1000; Middle English; Old English waru; cognate with German Ware


  1. watchful, wary, or cautious.
  2. aware; conscious.
verb (used with object), wared, war·ing.
  1. to beware of (usually used in the imperative).

Origin of ware2

before 900; Middle English (adj. and v.); Old English wær (adj.); cognate with German gewahr aware, Old Norse varr


verb (used with object), wared, war·ing. Scot. and North England.
  1. to spend; expend.

Origin of ware3

1300–50; Middle English < Old Norse verja to spend, invest


noun Scot. and North England.
  1. the first season in the year; spring.

Origin of ware4

1250–1300; Middle English < Old Norse vār spring; perhaps akin to Latin vēr (see vernal), Greek éar spring


  1. a combining form extracted from software, occurring as the final element in words that refer to a specified kind or class of software: spyware; shareware.See also ware1(def 2).
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for ware

Contemporary Examples

Historical Examples

  • "Give this to Mr. Ware," she said to the stable boy as she prepared to get into the dog-cart.


    William J. Locke

  • "He can advise us and help us to put the muddle right," said Mrs. Ware.


    William J. Locke

  • Even Miss Ware smiled a little, and adjusted her gold beads.

    Tiverton Tales

    Alice Brown

  • But it should be a threat, which is the ware in which you are fond of dealing.

    Micah Clarke

    Arthur Conan Doyle

  • Then the warrior was ware of that wolf-of-the-deep, mere-wife monstrous.



British Dictionary definitions for ware


noun (often in combination)
  1. (functioning as singular) articles of the same kind or materialglassware; silverware
  2. porcelain or pottery of a specified typeagateware; jasper ware
See also wares

Word Origin

Old English waru; related to Old Frisian were, Old Norse vara, Middle Dutch Ware


  1. another word for beware
  1. another word for wary, wise 1

Word Origin

Old English wær; related to Old Saxon, Old High German giwar, Old Norse varr, Gothic war, Latin vereor. See aware, beware


  1. (tr) Northern English and British dialect to spend or squander

Word Origin

C15: of Scandinavian origin; related to Icelandic verja
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

Word Origin and History for ware


"manufactured goods, goods for sale," Old English waru, probably originally "object of care, that which is kept in custody," from Proto-Germanic *waro (cf. Swedish vara, Danish vare, Old Frisian were, Middle Dutch were, Dutch waar, Middle High German, German ware "goods"); related to Old English wær "aware, cautious" (see wary). Usually wares, except in compounds such as hardware, earthenware, etc. Lady ware was a jocular 17c. euphemism for "a woman's private parts," and Middle English had ape-ware "deceptive or false ware; tricks" (mid-13c.).


"to take heed of, beware," Old English warian "to guard against," from Proto-Germanic *warojan, from *waro- "to guard, watch" (cf. Old Frisian waria, Old Norse vara); related to Old English wær "aware" (see wary).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

ware in Science


  1. A suffix that means “software,” as in shareware.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary Copyright © 2011. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.

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