[ chair-ee ]
See synonyms for: charycharily on

adjective,char·i·er, char·i·est.
  1. cautious or careful; wary: He was chary of investing in oil wells.

  2. shy; timid.

  1. fastidious; choosy: She is excessively chary about her friends.

  2. sparing (often followed by of): chary of his praise.

Origin of chary

before 1000; Middle English; Old English cearig sorrowful (c(e)ar(u) care + -ig-y1); cognate with Old Saxon karag,Old High German karag (German karg scanty, paltry)

Other words for chary

Opposites for chary

Other words from chary

  • char·i·ly, adverb
  • un·char·y, adjective

Words Nearby chary Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023

How to use chary in a sentence

British Dictionary definitions for chary


/ (ˈtʃɛərɪ) /

adjectivecharier or chariest
  1. wary; careful

  2. choosy; finicky

  1. shy

  2. sparing; mean

Origin of chary

Old English cearig; related to caru care, Old High German charag sorrowful

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