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[leer-ee] /ˈlɪər i/

adjective, leerier, leeriest.
wary; suspicious (usually followed by of):
I’m leery of his financial advice.
Archaic. knowing; alert.
[leer-ee] /ˈlɪər i/
adjective, leerier, leeriest.
2 .
adjective leerier, leeriest, learier, leariest
(mainly dialect) knowing or sly
(slang) (foll by of) suspicious or wary
(slang) rowdy or boisterous

“untrusting, suspicious, alert,” 1718, originally slang, with -y (2), and perhaps from dialectal lere “learning, knowledge” (see lore), or from leer (v.) in some now-obscure sense. OED suggests connection with archaic leer (adj.) “empty, useless,” a general Germanic word (cf. German leer, Dutch laar), of unknown origin.


Untrusting; suspicious; wary: He was leery of toting so much money/ Cheyfitz and Farrell exchanged leery glances

[1718+; probably fr British dialect lere, ”learning, knowledge”]


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