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
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