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adjective clev·er \ˈkle-vər\

Simple Definition of clever

  • : intelligent and able to learn things quickly

  • : showing intelligent thinking

  • : funny in a way that shows intelligence

Full Definition of clever

  1. 1 a :  skillful or adroit in using the hands or body :  nimble <clever fingers> b :  mentally quick and resourceful <a clever young lawyer>

  2. 2 :  marked by wit or ingenuity <a clever solution> <a clever idea>

  3. 3 dial a :  good b :  easy to use or handle

clev·er·ish play \-v(ə-)rish\ adjective
clev·er·ly play \-vər-lē\ adverb
clev·er·ness play \-vər-nəs\ noun

Examples of clever

  1. All of Laptsev went to stare at the bride-to-be—she was no beauty, but everyone could see that she was clever, sophisticated … —Isaac Bashevis Singer, New Yorker, 29 Sept. 2003

  2. … the three of them may give Gray Davis, who was too clever for his own good, his comeuppance. —Garrison Keillor, Time, 25 Aug. 2003

  3. Some thought he had no redeeming value whatsoever. A sociopath. A clever manipulator … —Louise Erdrich, New Yorker, 2 Dec. 2002

  4. Those who can't write poetry, write clever letters to the editor. Those who can't write clever letters to the editor, write angry letters to the editor. —Matt Groening, Utne Reader, November/December 1987

  5. The old lady was clever enough and he thought that if she had started from any of the right premises, more might have been expected of her. —Flannery O'Connor, Everything That Rises Must Converge, 1967

  6. Some cats are clever enough to figure out how to operate doorknobs.

  7. That's the cleverest idea I've heard yet!

  8. She found a clever hiding place for the letter.

Origin of clever

Middle English cliver, perhaps of Scandinavian origin; akin to Dan dialect kløver alert, skillful

First Known Use: circa 1595

Synonym Discussion of clever

clever, adroit, cunning, ingenious mean having or showing practical wit or skill in contriving. clever stresses physical or mental quickness, deftness, or great aptitude <a person clever with horses>. adroit often implies a skillful use of expedients to achieve one's purpose in spite of difficulties <an adroit negotiator>. cunning implies great skill in constructing or creating <a filmmaker cunning in his use of special effects>. ingenious suggests the power of inventing or discovering a new way of accomplishing something <an ingenious software engineer>.

synonyms see in addition intelligent

Rhymes with clever

Seen and Heard

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February 6, 2016

an official order, decree, or edict

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