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Bevin, Ernest
Bewick's swan
Bewick, Thomas

Beware definitions

Webster's 1828 Dictionary

BEWA'RE, v.i.
1. Literally, to restrain or guard one's self from. Hence, to regard with caution; to restrain one's self from anything that may be dangerous, injurious or improper; to avoid; to take care; followed by of before the thing that is to be avoided.
Beware of all, but more beware of man.
Beware of false prophets; beware of the leaven of the Pharisees; beware of the concision.
2. To have a special regard to.
Behold, I send an angel before thee--beware of him, and obey his voice. Exodus 23.
[This is unusual and hardly legitimate.]
This word though here admitted as a verb, from the Saxon,is rarely used as a verb in fact; or if a verb, is now never used except in the imperative mode It is a compound of be and the Old Eng. ware, now wary. Be wary of danger. Hence it cannot be used with did, like a regular verb, nor with be, in any of its inflections, he is beware; for this would be to use the substantive verb twice before ware and wary, is and be. Ben Jonson however has used the word in the third person. He bewares to act. But it has no past tense or participle, and therefore, if admitted as a verb, it is defective,and used only in the imperative mode, or after an auxiliary.
We must beware of excess.

WordNet (r) 3.0 (2005)

1: be on one's guard; be cautious or wary about; be alert to; "Beware of telephone salesmen" [syn: beware, mind]

Merriam Webster's

verb Etymology: Middle English been war, from been to be + war careful — more at be, ware Date: 14th century intransitive verb to be on one's guard <beware of the dog> transitive verb 1. to take care of <beware your wallet> 2. to be wary of <we must…beware the exceedingly tenuous generalization — Matthew Lipman>

Oxford Reference Dictionary

v. (only in imper. or infin.) 1 intr. (often foll. by of, or that, lest, etc. + clause) be cautious, take heed (beware of the dog; told us to beware; beware that you don't fall). 2 tr. be cautious of (beware the Ides of March). Etymology: BE + WARE(3)

Webster's 1913 Dictionary

Beware Be*ware", v. i. [Be, imperative of verb to be + ware. See Ware, Wary.] 1. To be on one's guard; to be cautious; to take care; -- commonly followed by of or lest before the thing that is to be avoided. Beware of all, but most beware of man ! --Pope. Beware the awful avalanche. --Longfellow. 2. To have a special regard; to heed. [Obs.] Behold, I send an Angel before thee. . . . Beware of him, and obey his voice. --Ex. xxiii. 20, 21. Note: This word is a compound from be and the Old English ware, now wary, which is an adjective. ``Be ye war of false prophetis.'' --Wyclif, Matt. vii. 15. It is used commonly in the imperative and infinitive modes, and with such auxiliaries (shall, should, must, etc.) as go with the infinitive.

Webster's 1913 Dictionary

Beware Be*ware" (b[-e]*w[^a]r"), v. t. To avoid; to take care of; to have a care for. [Obs.] ``Priest, beware your beard.'' --Shak. To wish them beware the son. --Milton.

Collin's Cobuild Dictionary

If you tell someone to beware of a person or thing, you are warning them that the person or thing may harm them or be dangerous. Beware of being too impatient with others... Beware, this recipe is not for slimmers. VERB: only imper and inf, V of n/-ing, V

Soule's Dictionary of English Synonyms

v. n. Mind, take care, be cautious, be wary, be careful, look out.


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