artful

adjective
art·​ful | \ ˈärt-fəl How to pronounce artful (audio) \

Definition of artful

1 : performed with or showing art or skill an artful performance on the violin
2a : 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

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Other Words from artful

artfully \ ˈärt-​fə-​lē How to pronounce artfully (audio) \ adverb
artfulness noun

Choose the Right Synonym for 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

Did You Know?

A writer may produce an artful piece of prose, one that's clearly and elegantly written. The same writer might also make an artful argument, one that cleverly leaves out certain details and plays up others so as to make a stronger case. In the first instance, the prose is well crafted; in the second, the argument might instead be called crafty. But even though both uses are correct, most of us still use artful somewhat differently from artistic.

Examples of artful in a Sentence

the artful lawyer got the witness to admit he had been lying that kitchen gadget is an artful tool for extracting cherry pits
Recent Examples on the Web Nieto’s artful shirt offers abstract embroidery of a Dorado fish on the front and a stitched sundial flower on the back in a color palette that is an ode to ocean water colors. Houston Chronicle, "ART FEEL: Wearable art for men created by local resident," 18 May 2018 Use them around the house as beautiful and artful objects for a table display or even consider something more utilitarian, like using a silver toast rack to hold your mail. Georgina Schaeffer, Town & Country, "How To Polish Your Silver," 9 Dec. 2013 Many officers hope that such game-playing aptitude might eventually translate into a flair for inventive and artful manoeuvres of the sort celebrated in military history. The Economist, "Artificial intelligence is changing every aspect of war," 7 Sep. 2019 Michael Siegel, executive chef since 2004, is known for his fresh fish, seafood, prime, 28-day aged steaks and artful plate presentations. Claire Perez, sun-sentinel.com, "Brussels sprouts shine with soy ginger glaze at Grille 66," 5 July 2019 The artful geometrical piece by Studio Fifty50 stands 20 feet tall and was installed in January, adding the final touch to the park’s much awaited renovation and expansion. Seattle Sketcher Gabriel Campanario, The Seattle Times, "‘Gateway’ leads to happiness in this busy, beloved Chinatown park," 4 Sep. 2018 The increasing popularity of high-definition plasma televisions supported more artful styles of TV cinematography and encouraged staying home. Adam Wilson, Harper's magazine, "Good Bad Bad Good," 16 Sep. 2019 The social calendar boasted at least three black-tie soirees, plus a handful of artful cocktail parties, too. Amber Elliott, Houston Chronicle, "Houston Symphony Opening Night 'all-Russian' Concert & Gala celebrates diversity, unity and vodka," 16 Sep. 2019 But after two years of sending collages and letters back and forth to each other, the duo took artful collaborations to a whole new level by expanding their art projects from paper collages to clothes. Teen Vogue, "Meet Femail Forever, the Brand Changing the Fashion Industry via Snail Mail," 10 Sep. 2019

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'artful.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of artful

1583, in the meaning defined at sense 1

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Statistics for artful

Last Updated

5 Nov 2019

Time Traveler for artful

The first known use of artful was in 1583

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More Definitions for artful

artful

adjective
How to pronounce artful (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of artful

: 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

artful

adjective
art·​ful | \ ˈärt-fəl How to pronounce artful (audio) \

Kids Definition of artful

1 : done with or showing art or skill artful writing
2 : clever at taking advantage an artful salesman

Other Words from artful

artfully \ -​fə-​lē \ adverb

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More from Merriam-Webster on artful

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for artful

Spanish Central: Translation of artful

Nglish: Translation of artful for Spanish Speakers

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