adjective \ˈwī-lē\

: full of clever tricks : very clever


Full Definition of WILY

:  full of wiles :  crafty <a wily negotiator>
wil·i·ly \-lə-lē\ adverb
wil·i·ness \-lē-nəs\ noun

Examples of WILY

  1. She turned out to be a wily negotiator.
  2. <a wily judge of character, she takes advantage of car buyers' insecurities to sell them a bigger machine than they really need>

First Known Use of WILY

14th century

Synonym Discussion of WILY

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>.

Rhymes with WILY

WILY Defined for Kids


adjective \ˈwī-lē\

Definition of WILY for Kids

:  full of tricks :  crafty


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