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guile

play
noun \ˈgī(-ə)l\

Simple Definition of guile

  • : the use of clever and usually dishonest methods to achieve something

Full Definition of guile

  1. 1 :  deceitful cunning :  duplicity

  2. 2 obsolete :  stratagem, trick

guile·ful play \-fəl\ adjective
guile·ful·ly play \-fə-lē\ adverb
guile·ful·ness noun

Examples of guile

  1. By the end of Liebling's dispatch, Mollie has become a mythic figure invulnerable to death, capable of great feats of courage and guile, and able to transform himself into any human type for the purposes of disguise. —Lee Siegel, Harper's, December 2004

  2. The going was painfully slow, but Chickenhound consoled himself on the long journey by boosting his own ego. “Maybe a silly bunch of rats could put one over on Sela. Huh, she was old and had lost a lot of her guile. Not like me! They hadn't reckoned with a smart intelligent young fox like I am.” —Brian Jacques, Redwall, (1986) 2002

  3. Untrained human nature was not frank and innocent; it was full of the twists and defences of an instinctive guile. —Edith Wharton, The Age of Innocence, 1920

  4. <a shady salesman who usually relies on a combination of quick thinking and guile>

  5. <a person so full of guile he can't even be trusted to give you the correct time of day>



Origin of guile

Middle English gile, from Anglo-French, probably of Germanic origin; akin to Old English wigle divination — more at witch


First Known Use: 13th century

Rhymes with guile



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