clever

adjective
clev·​er | \ˈkle-vər \

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

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Other Words from clever

cleverish \-​v(ə-​)rish \ adjective
cleverly \-​vər-​lē \ adverb
cleverness \-​vər-​nəs \ 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.
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Recent Examples on the Web

Here, two of our favorite hosts weigh in with clever strategies that elevate entertaining to an art form. Talia Abbas, SELF, "How to Throw a Laid-Back Holiday Party at Home, from the Team at A Summer Day Cafe," 6 Dec. 2018 But while the concept feels a bit too clever, the food is stupid delicious. Peter Jon Lindberg, Condé Nast Traveler, "Hanoi, Time and Again," 20 Nov. 2018 Yeah, but on the other hand, Putin’s people are clever. Eric Johnson, Recode, "If you can quit social media, but don’t, then you’re part of the problem, Jaron Lanier says," 27 July 2018 Since Windows 7 was originally released in 2009, hackers have had a longer time to discover exploits and create clever tactics to compromise users. Ken Colburn, azcentral, "Still running Windows 7? Probably not for much longer; Here's what you need to know," 2 July 2018 Well, those are not just clever words, or those are not just empty theories. Charles P. Pierce, Esquire, "The Best Presidential Speech of My Lifetime, Half a Century Later," 15 Mar. 2018 The ad featured an intelligent robot named Evelyn as well as a small cast of her robotic friends who tease their scientist-creator for being clever enough to create them but not to switch to Sprint. Aaron Pressman, Fortune, "Sprint's Clever AI Robot 'Evelyn' Tweaks Verizon," 5 Feb. 2018 The first is a twist on Little Red Riding Hood that flips the script—no longer a victim, the protagonist is a clever and capable girl who saves her grandmother from the wolf. Lizzie Garrett Mettler, Vogue, "With Wonderscope, a Tech Company Attempts the Unthinkable: Healthy Screen Time for Kids," 14 Nov. 2018 Building on top of uneven land can be a challenge that requires some out-of-the-box thinking, but product designer Gavin Rea has come up with a simple but clever solution. Liz Stinson, Curbed, "Prefab home concept appears to float above the landscape," 15 Oct. 2018

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.

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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

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Last Updated

11 Dec 2018

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Time Traveler for clever

The first known use of clever was circa 1595

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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 \
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

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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

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