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 Tap figures prominently, most spectacularly in a ghoulishly clever number where one of the boys has a nightmare about dying in the electric chair, the clicks of his heels echoing the sizzle and crackle of the deadly current. Andrea Simakis, cleveland, "Kander and Ebb’s ‘The Scottsboro Boys’ at the Beck Center entrances as it weaves its story of savage racial injustice," 16 Feb. 2020 But much has changed, with AI increasingly helping machines, from self-driving cars to surveillance cameras, perceive and behave in clever ways. Will Knight, Wired, "Sony Envisions an AI-Fueled World, From Kitchen Bots to Games," 13 Feb. 2020 In those early years under Saban, Tucker learned that players — more so than clever schemes —- make a team go. Rainer Sabin, Detroit Free Press, "With championship blueprint, Mel Tucker sets out to revive Michigan State football," 13 Feb. 2020 The clever twist is that the story keeps switching between what could be and what is. Willie Brown, SFChronicle.com, "SF corruption scandal: Your good name is worth more than a tractor," 1 Feb. 2020 Finally, there's a clever twist toward the end that most viewers won't see coming. Frank Scheck, The Hollywood Reporter, "'The Assent': Film Review," 8 Jan. 2020 Welcome to the Jungle was a genuinely fun (and funny) film, with clever twists on the original film and plenty of sly nods to common tropes of video gameplay. Jennifer Ouellette, Ars Technica, "Jumanji: The Next Level is less fresh this time around but still lots of fun," 13 Dec. 2019 Probably best-known for his clever marketing strategy of purchasing multiple billboards on every major highway (there’s even a Facebook page dedicated to Shunnarah billboard memes), Shunnarah is a beloved Birmingham fixture. John Archibald | Jarchibald@al.com, al, "Are you a true Birmingham local? Answer these 15 questions," 9 Sep. 2019 The novel's bang-up opening scene has a clever twist on a current trend in pop fiction. Richard Lipez, Dallas News, "White supremacists are the eerily relevant villains in Karin Slaughter's new novel," 20 Aug. 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.

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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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Statistics for clever

Last Updated

20 Feb 2020

Cite this Entry

“Clever.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/clever. Accessed 27 Feb. 2020.

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More Definitions for clever

clever

adjective
How to pronounce clever (audio)

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

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for clever

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with 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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