\ ˈkraf-tē How to pronounce crafty (audio) \
craftier; craftiest

Definition of crafty

2a : adept in the use of subtlety and cunning a crafty swindler The crafty detective got the suspect to confess to the crime.
b : marked by subtlety and guile a crafty scheme

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Other Words from crafty

craftily \ ˈkraf-​tə-​lē How to pronounce craftily (audio) \ adverb
craftiness \ ˈkraf-​tē-​nəs How to pronounce craftiness (audio) \ noun

Choose the Right Synonym for crafty

sly, cunning, crafty, wily, tricky, foxy, artful, slick mean attaining or seeking to attain one's ends by guileful or devious means. sly implies furtiveness, lack of candor, and skill in concealing one's aims and methods. a sly corporate raider cunning suggests the inventive use of sometimes limited intelligence in overreaching or circumventing. the cunning fox avoided the trap crafty implies cleverness and subtlety of method. a crafty lefthander wily implies skill and deception in maneuvering. the wily fugitive escaped the posse tricky is more likely to suggest shiftiness and unreliability than skill in deception and maneuvering. a tricky political operative foxy implies a shrewd and wary craftiness usually involving devious dealing. a foxy publicity man planting stories artful implies indirectness in dealing and often connotes sophistication or cleverness. elicited the information by artful questioning slick emphasizes smoothness and guile. slick operators selling time-sharing

Examples of crafty in a Sentence

a crafty real estate broker who got people to sell their property at bargain prices

Recent Examples on the Web

Warriors star Steph Curry’s craftiest move may have come off the court. Pueng Vongs, The Mercury News, "Steph Curry’s secret move to Atherton," 15 Sep. 2019 Eliminate the need for sharp knives with tis crafty take on carving Jack-o'-lanterns. Katie Kretschmer, Woman's Day, "Short Cuts Pumpkin," 9 Sep. 2019 Marketa Vondrousova, a crafty 19-year-old lefthander from the Czech Republic, reached the final of this year’s French Open. Christopher Clarey, New York Times, "Serena Williams vs. Bianca Andreescu: An Intergenerational Duel at the U.S. Open," 6 Sep. 2019 This crafty airline further cuts costs by occasionally allowing passengers to help out with basic tasks—like repairing the wing that will definitely come apart mid-flight. Jiji Lee, The New Yorker, "New Budget Airlines," 23 Aug. 2019 After halftime, McCowan had a better sense of how the crafty veteran operated on the block. Akeem Glaspie, Indianapolis Star, "Despite career high from Teaira McCowan, host Fever lose to Liberty," 20 Aug. 2019 Two extra-crafty gators from the Sunshine State made headlines for displaying some frightening new skills. Meghan Overdeep, Southern Living, "From Scaling Fences to Swimming Through Intersections, Florida Alligators Had Quite the Week," 19 Aug. 2019 The 12-year veteran quarterback is not an ideal fit for new offensive coordinator Rich Scangarello’s system, which is predicated on outside zone runs that also propagate crafty mutli-level route combinations. Andy Benoit,, "Vic Fangio Expected to Elevate Broncos’ D, But Joe Flacco and the Offense Will Struggle," 19 Aug. 2019 The league has craftier post operators, but Ayton doesn't need bells and whistles to emphasize his touch. Jeremy Cluff, azcentral, "Phoenix Suns' Devin Booker, Deandre Ayton make list of best young players in NBA for 2019," 7 Aug. 2019

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'crafty.' 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 crafty

before the 12th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for crafty

see craft entry 1

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Statistics for crafty

Last Updated

1 Oct 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for crafty

The first known use of crafty was before the 12th century

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More Definitions for crafty



English Language Learners Definition of crafty

: clever in usually a deceptive or dishonest way


\ ˈkraf-tē How to pronounce crafty (audio) \
craftier; craftiest

Kids Definition of crafty

: skillful at tricking others : cunning

Other Words from crafty

craftily \ ˈkraf-​tə-​lē \ adverb
craftiness \ -​tē-​nəs \ noun

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More from Merriam-Webster on crafty

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with crafty

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for crafty

Spanish Central: Translation of crafty

Nglish: Translation of crafty for Spanish Speakers

Comments on crafty

What made you want to look up crafty? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


a topic to which one constantly reverts

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