adjective, leer·i·er, leer·i·est.

  1. wary; suspicious (usually followed by of): I’m leery of his financial advice.
  2. Archaic. knowing; alert.

adjective, leer·i·er, leer·i·est.

  1. leer2.

adjective leerier, leeriest, learier or leariest

  1. mainly dialect knowing or sly
  2. slang (foll by of) suspicious or wary
  3. slang rowdy or boisterous

adj.“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.

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