What's the Difference Between 'Leary' and 'Leery'?

In this blog post we look at when to use leary and when to use leery.

'Leary' or 'Leery'?

"Leary" and "leery" are two different spellings of the same word, with the same meaning.

The word is an adjective that is used to describe someone who is suspicious or distrustful. It can also mean that someone is skeptical or cautious about something.

The word "leery" is more commonly used than "leary" in modern English. In fact in the last 100 years the spelling “leery” has become much more common than “leary” in written English. However, "leary" is still a valid and acceptable spelling of the word.

In any context, "leary" or "leery" can be used to describe someone who is cautious, distrustful or skeptical, it can be used in a sentence such as "I am leery of investing in that stock," or "I am leary of trying new foods" both sentences convey the same meaning.

In conclusion, "leary" and "leery" are the same word, with the same meaning, but "leery" is more commonly used in modern English. Both spellings are acceptable and used in context, although instances of leery have surpassed that of leary in the past 100 years.

Here are some examples of the words “leary” and “leery” in context:

  • "She was leery of the new medication her doctor prescribed, so she did some research before taking it." (meaning the person is suspicious or distrustful of the new medication)

  • "The manager was leery of hiring someone with no experience, but decided to give her a chance." (meaning the manager is skeptical or cautious about hiring someone without experience)

  • "Despite his fear of heights, he was leary of taking the elevator to the top floor." (older variant spelling of leary, meaning the person is suspicious or distrustful)

Examples of Leery in a Sentence

  1. "The new employee was leery of working with the company's outdated technology."

  2. "He was leery of giving his credit card information over the phone."

  3. "She was leery of trusting her new colleague, after hearing negative things about them from other coworkers."

  4. "The investors were leery of putting their money into the startup, due to its lack of a solid business plan."

  5. "After being burned by a bad investment, he was leery of taking financial risks."

  6. "The customer was leery of buying the used car, due to its high mileage."

  7. "I am leery of trying new medications, since the side effects can be unpredictable."

  8. "The detective was leery of the suspect's alibi, and continued to investigate further."

  9. "He was leery of joining the new political party, due to their controversial beliefs."

  10. "She was leery of traveling alone, after hearing about the recent crime in the area."

Leary or Leery
Leary or Leery