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

Likewise, a very clever series of crystal brooches were used to ornament Butrym’s other shoes, allowing a vanilla leather heel to shift easily between work and play. Monica Kim, Vogue, "Magda Butrym Is Nostalgic for an ’80s Moment Warsaw Never Knew," 17 Apr. 2019 Thanks to a few very clever decorating tricks, the apartment is just that—and then some. Amanda Sims, House Beautiful, "11 Truly Surprising Ways to Use Color," 11 Mar. 2019 This isn’t the first time Camila revealed a pretty clever beauty hack. De Elizabeth, Teen Vogue, "Camila Mendes Blends Makeup With a Pancake in Cole Sprouse's Instagram Story," 17 Nov. 2018 When a third broke, engineers had to make clever and strategic use of fuel while taking advantage of the physical pressure of sunlight to keep the telescope operational, this time in a secondary mission called K2 that searched for larger worlds. Andrew Moseman, Popular Mechanics, "Kepler's Last Light, and Its Towering Legacy," 8 Feb. 2019 According to Rebecca English, The Daily Mail's royal correspondent, an adorable young girl named Eliza Morris caught Prince Harry's eyes thanks to her clever and sweet sign. Nicole Saunders, Harper's BAZAAR, "Prince Harry Hugs a Fellow Redhead Holding a #GingersUnite Sign," 14 Jan. 2019 So much character in her vocal delivery, clever lyrics, efficient production. USA TODAY, "Playlist: What's Ben Rector listening to?," 29 June 2018 Her sound is a throwback to a time that existed not so long ago, when dirty, bluesy guitars and a rhythm section paired with clever lyrics was the sound du jour. Mike Ayers, Time, "Courtney Barnett Proves She's Indie Rock’s Shining Light on Tell Me How You Really Feel," 17 May 2018 Johnson and the others came to Washington armed with clever solutions to the remaining hang-up over extending restrictions on Iran permanently. Josh Lederman, Fox News, "Behind the scenes of Trump's decision to abandon Iran deal," 11 May 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

15 May 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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a strong desire or propensity

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