Definition of artful
1 : performed with or showing art or skill an artful performance on the violin
3 : artificial trim walks and artful bowers — William Wordsworth
artfullyplay \-fə-lē\ adverb
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
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.
First Known Use of artful
Synonym Discussion of artful
ARTFUL Defined for English Language Learners
Definition of artful for English Language Learners
: 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 Defined for Kids
Definition of artful for Students
1 : done with or showing art or skill artful writing
2 : clever at taking advantage an artful salesman
Seen and Heard
What made you want to look up artful? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).