clever

adjective
clev·​er | \ ˈkle-vər How to pronounce clever (audio) \

Definition of clever

1a : skillful or adroit in using the hands or body : nimble clever fingers
b : mentally quick and resourceful a clever young lawyer
2 : marked by wit or ingenuity a clever solution a clever idea the play's clever dialogue

3 dialect

a : good
b : easy to use or handle

Keep scrolling for more

Other Words from clever

cleverish \ ˈkle-​v(ə-​)rish How to pronounce cleverish (audio) \ adjective
cleverly \ ˈkle-​vər-​lē How to pronounce cleverly (audio) \ adverb
cleverness \ ˈkle-​vər-​nəs How to pronounce cleverness (audio) \ noun

Choose the Right Synonym for clever

clever, adroit, cunning, ingenious mean having or showing practical wit or skill in contriving. clever stresses physical or mental quickness, deftness, or great aptitude. a person clever with horses adroit often implies a skillful use of expedients to achieve one's purpose in spite of difficulties. an adroit negotiator cunning implies great skill in constructing or creating. a filmmaker cunning in his use of special effects ingenious suggests the power of inventing or discovering a new way of accomplishing something. an ingenious software engineer

synonyms see in addition intelligent

Examples of clever in a Sentence

All of Laptsev went to stare at the bride-to-be—she was no beauty, but everyone could see that she was clever, sophisticated … — Isaac Bashevis Singer, New Yorker, 29 Sept. 2003 … the three of them may give Gray Davis, who was too clever for his own good, his comeuppance. — Garrison Keillor, Time, 25 Aug. 2003 Some thought he had no redeeming value whatsoever. A sociopath. A clever manipulator … — Louise Erdrich, New Yorker, 2 Dec. 2002 Those who can't write poetry, write clever letters to the editor. Those who can't write clever letters to the editor, write angry letters to the editor. — Matt Groening, Utne Reader, November/December 1987 The old lady was clever enough and he thought that if she had started from any of the right premises, more might have been expected of her. — Flannery O'Connor, Everything That Rises Must Converge, 1967 Some cats are clever enough to figure out how to operate doorknobs. That's the cleverest idea I've heard yet! She found a clever hiding place for the letter.
See More

Recent Examples on the Web

In Kiner's case, he's taken the clever twist of adding an item to personalize each one. Scott Springer, Cincinnati.com, "Division I football recruit Corey Kiner of Roger Bacon gets creative boost on Twitter," 26 June 2019 There would be the clever spy books whose plots are hard to follow and whose characters all speak with Russian accents. Beth Thames | Bethmthames@gmail.com, al.com, "We need Little Free Libraries at the beach," 19 June 2019 Not that the book’s subject wasn’t recognized as a clever fellow from early on. Rex Smith, ExpressNews.com, "Former Hearst CEO, a San Antonio icon, offers pointers on life and business," 18 June 2019 His puzzles are clever, entertaining, and always challenging. BostonGlobe.com, "Letters to the editor of the Boston Globe Magazine," 14 June 2019 If nothing Ainsley tweeted ever seemed all that original or clever, then shocking and titillating her audience had never been her goal. Lucinda Rosenfeld, Harper's magazine, "First Daughters," 10 Feb. 2019 Because if lawmakers hadn’t responded to the looming TABOR refunds beginning in 2015 with clever accounting tricks, lawmakers would be facing the prospect of giving almost $600 million back to taxpayers in 2020. The Denver Post Editorial Board, The Denver Post, "Editorial: Want to repeal TABOR? We do too, but here’s some realistic advice.," 20 June 2019 Wannous’s response was to write the play An Evening’s Entertainment for the Fifth of June, a furious and clever assault on official propaganda, censorship, and denial. Ursula Lindsey, The New York Review of Books, "Coup de Théâtre," 17 June 2019 But these efforts have had little impact on Corvus corax, an aggressive and extraordinarily clever species. Louis Sahagun, latimes.com, "These tortoise-killing ravens are so smart, scientists must use drones to stop them," 9 June 2019

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

See More

First Known Use of clever

circa 1595, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

History and Etymology for clever

Middle English cliver, perhaps of Scandinavian origin; akin to Danish dialect kløver alert, skillful

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about clever

Statistics for clever

Last Updated

10 Jul 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for clever

The first known use of clever was circa 1595

See more words from the same year

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for clever

clever

adjective

English Language Learners Definition of clever

: intelligent and able to learn things quickly
: showing intelligent thinking
: funny in a way that shows intelligence

clever

adjective
clev·​er | \ ˈkle-vər How to pronounce clever (audio) \
cleverer; cleverest

Kids Definition of clever

1 : having a quick inventive mind a clever designer
2 : showing intelligence, wit, or imagination a clever joke a clever idea
3 : showing skill in using the hands He was very strong and clever with his knife …— Frances Hodgson Burnett, The Secret Garden

Other Words from clever

cleverly adverb
cleverness noun

Keep scrolling for more

More from Merriam-Webster on clever

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with clever

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for clever

Spanish Central: Translation of clever

Nglish: Translation of clever for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of clever for Arabic Speakers

Comments on clever

What made you want to look up clever? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).

WORD OF THE DAY

something desired as essential

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

What's that Smell?! Quiz

  • wide eyed dog smelling rose
  • Someone who is hircine smells like a:
True or False

Test your knowledge - and maybe learn something along the way.

TAKE THE QUIZ
Word Winder's CrossWinder

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

TAKE THE QUIZ
Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!