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 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.
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Recent Examples on the Web

The technology dates back to work done before World War II and, although clever, is not considered all that reliable as a weapon. Kyle Mizokami, Popular Mechanics, "The Russian Navy Is Fitting Ships with Barf-Inducing Lights," 4 Feb. 2019 Attempts are mostly via phone scams and email, and some of them are clever. Laura Saunders, WSJ, "Seven New Year’s Tax Resolutions for 2019," 28 Dec. 2018 There's no denying this electric SUV is clever, as is the way it has been positioned in the market. Jonathan M. Gitlin, Ars Technica, "We’ve driven Audi’s first proper electric car, the 2019 e-tron SUV," 7 Dec. 2018 From the playful front cover to the inspirational back cover, the content is clever, informative and motivational. Homes & Gardens Of The Northwest Staff, OregonLive.com, "Garden book review: 'Worms Eat My Garbage' spotlights 'nature's most efficient recyclers'," 15 Mar. 2018 Additionally, there are plenty of clever tools that'll bring order to pots and pans, cleaning supplies, garbage and recycling bins, and more. Jessica Dailey, Good Housekeeping, "Just Right," 11 Feb. 2019 What's notable are the small features meant to make the Blazer feel just a little more clever than its kin. Andrew Moseman, Popular Mechanics, "2019 Chevy Blazer Test Drive: What Happened When GM Tried To Make the Crossover Cool," 4 Feb. 2019 The trailer is reminiscent of a Westworld Delos ad, which, though likely unintentional, is rather clever; Handmaids are essentially breeding hosts in Gilead, after all. Julie Kosin, Harper's BAZAAR, "The Handmaid's Tale Season 3 Trailer Dropped During the Super Bowl," 4 Feb. 2019 My hope is to continue to be clever about this and to continue to show myself and to learn. Yolanda Machado, Marie Claire, "How Brie Larson Channels Captain Marvel Even When the Cameras Are Off," 4 Dec. 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

6 Mar 2019

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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 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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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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