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

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Other Words from clever

cleverish \ ˈkle-​v(ə-​)rish How to pronounce clever (audio) \ adjective
cleverly \ ˈkle-​vər-​lē How to pronounce clever (audio) \ adverb
cleverness \ ˈkle-​vər-​nəs How to pronounce clever (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.
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Recent Examples on the Web Fortunately, Younger’s continued riffs on the publishing and media world are much more clever elsewhere in the season. Jen Chaney, Vulture, "Younger Goes Full Rom-Com in Its Farewell Season," 15 Apr. 2021 Politically, the decision to describe everything under the sun as infrastructure is very clever. Cameron Hilditch, National Review, "Democrats’ Cynical Ploy: Everything Is Infrastructure," 8 Apr. 2021 The Minnesota native specializes in adorable puns, clever wordplay and a cheerleader's spirit. Neal Justin, Star Tribune, "Her heart stopped, but this Minnesota comedian bounced back: 'This is my second life.'," 10 Dec. 2020 Now here’s some lawyering that may turn out to be too clever by half. The Editorial Board, WSJ, "Democrats Give Their Iowa Game Away," 23 Mar. 2021 De Armas plays Monroe in an upcoming film, so this post is doubly clever. Elizabeth Logan, Glamour, "Ana de Armas Seemingly Addressed Rumors She and Ben Affleck Are Getting Back Together," 22 Mar. 2021 Actually, many people object to realism, and some are quite clever. John Horgan, Scientific American, "I'm Agonizing over My Naive Realism," 19 Mar. 2021 Don’t be clever with U.C. Santa Barbara or Liberty. New York Times, "How to Win Your N.C.A.A. Tournament Pool," 15 Mar. 2021 This is clever: The HANDS Foundation, supporting Medina County seniors, is asking businesses to take part in The Senior Wish Challenge. Sam Boyer, cleveland, "A time to sow: Whit & Whimsey," 5 Mar. 2021

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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Time Traveler for clever

Time Traveler

The first known use of clever was circa 1595

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Last Updated

21 Apr 2021

Cite this Entry

“Clever.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/clever. Accessed 22 Apr. 2021.

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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 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

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Comments on clever

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