\ 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

Keep scrolling for more

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

From a media standpoint, there are a few more Red Sox-relevant grades to be issued — specifically in relation to Entercom and WEEI’s decision to have a rotating cast of announcers in the broadcast booth alongside crafty veteran Joe Castiglione. Chad Finn,, "Sean McDonough tops cast of rotating Red Sox announcers," 27 June 2019 Let’s share photos of refrigerator magnets made under the crafty, patient auspices of Miss Molly at BrightHorizons backup daycare, and food shots of Jean’s garlic broccoli, which was the last vegetable to pass Teddy’s lips two whole years ago. Lauren Smith Brody, Harper's BAZAAR, "The Invisible Nannies of Instagram," 17 Apr. 2019 As the applause continues, a crafty tech swings a camera to the stage's edge, where real estate developer Donald Trump is caught poking his head out from backstage to soak up the crowd's response., "‘He’s just a psychotic’: Letterman looks back with regret on his many Trump interviews," 13 June 2019 It could be said that the art of miniature golf design reached its pinnacle when some crafty individual decided to plop a windmill on a course, challenging players to sink a hole-in-one past its rotating blades. Jennifer Nalewicki, Smithsonian, "This Summer, Play Nine Holes at This ‘Art Course’ in Kansas City," 11 June 2019 The Phillies lost outfielder Andrew McCutchen for the season on Monday evening in San Diego on a first-inning play that was one part crafty baseball, one part frustration, and several large parts of extremely bad luck. Bob Ford,, "The tragic, but correct, application for the Phillies of the infield fly rule | Bob Ford," 6 June 2019 Greece has gone from its traditionally defiant (if not insecure) role as an outlier to that of a crafty insider. Victor Davis Hanson, The Mercury News, "Hanson: Greece finds new footing as a player on the world stage," 6 June 2019 Instead, spend time with them at historical landmarks, practice a sport together, or get crafty with a DIY activity. Selena Barrientos, Good Housekeeping, "40 Creative Things to Do When You're Bored to Pass the Time," 23 May 2019 The blank card stock looks attractively minimalist all on its own, in my opinion, but it can be drawn on, painted, glitter-coated, or otherwise decorated to your crafty little heart’s content. Michele Petry, House Beautiful, "It's So Easy to Build These Solar-Powered Nightlights," 13 Mar. 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.

See More

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

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about crafty

Statistics for crafty

Last Updated

9 Jul 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for crafty

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

See more words from the same century

Keep scrolling for more

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

Keep scrolling for more

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).


to form ideas or theories about something

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Farm Idioms Quiz

  • cow coming home
  • What does 'poke' refer to in the expression 'pig in a poke'?
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?

Bee Cubed

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!