Dictionary

artful

adjective art·ful \ˈärt-fəl\

: done with or showing artistic skill

: good at getting or achieving things in ways that are clever and not noticeable : used to get or achieve things in ways that are clever and not noticeable

Full Definition of ARTFUL

1
:  performed with or showing art or skill <an artful performance on the violin>
2
a :  using or characterized by art and skill :  dexterous <an artful prose stylist>
b :  adroit in attaining an end usually by insinuating or indirect means :  wily <an artful cross-examiner>
3
:  artificial <trim walks and artful bowers — William Wordsworth>
art·ful·ly \-fə-lē\ adverb
art·ful·ness noun

Examples of ARTFUL

  1. <the artful lawyer got the witness to admit he had been lying>
  2. <that kitchen gadget is an artful tool for extracting cherry pits>

First Known Use of ARTFUL

1609

Synonym Discussion of ARTFUL

sly, cunning, crafty, wily, tricky, foxy, artful, slick mean attaining or seeking to attain one's ends by guileful or devious means. sly implies furtiveness, lack of candor, and skill in concealing one's aims and methods <a sly corporate raider>. cunning suggests the inventive use of sometimes limited intelligence in overreaching or circumventing <the cunning fox avoided the trap>. crafty implies cleverness and subtlety of method <a crafty lefthander>. wily implies skill and deception in maneuvering <the wily fugitive escaped the posse>. tricky is more likely to suggest shiftiness and unreliability than skill in deception and maneuvering <a tricky political operative>. foxy implies a shrewd and wary craftiness usually involving devious dealing <a foxy publicity man planting stories>. artful implies indirectness in dealing and often connotes sophistication or cleverness <elicited the information by artful questioning>. slick emphasizes smoothness and guile <slick operators selling time-sharing>.
ARTFULLY Defined for Kids

artful

adjective art·ful \ˈärt-fəl\

Definition of ARTFUL for Kids

1
:  done with or showing art or skill <artful writing>
2
:  clever at taking advantage <an artful salesman>
art·ful·ly \-fə-lē\ adverb

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