\ 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 crafty (audio) \ adverb
craftiness \ ˈkraf-​tē-​nəs How to pronounce crafty (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 One small sliver of creative content can turn into a gold mine for crafty marketers. Victoria Zelefsky, Forbes, "Repurposing Content: Every Marketer’s Secret Weapon," 16 Apr. 2021 The monkeys in the song were snapped up by a crafty alligator, but the students in the classroom appeared to feel safe and happy. Howard Blume Staff Writer, Los Angeles Times, "LAUSD welcomes excited students, concerned parents on first day of school after a year," 13 Apr. 2021 Meanwhile, crowds gravitated toward the crafty legend from the Negro leagues. Washington Post, "In Cleveland, four men helped bring baseball into the modern age," 9 Apr. 2021 Powell is a more potent creator and versatile scorer who is crafty inside and can get to the basket to draw contact. oregonlive, "How and why Norman Powell became Neil Olshey and the Portland Trail Blazers’ trade-deadline prize," 26 Mar. 2021 Leroux is crafty and difficult to read, disguising shots with her hips to keep Wilson on her toes. Julia Poe,, "Orlando Pride goalkeeper Brittany Wilson steps into spotlight for first full season," 18 Mar. 2021 Here’s where home tinkerers can be especially crafty and resourceful. New York Times, "How to Get a Peloton-Style Workout Without Splurging," 3 Mar. 2021 While obvious defensive limitations have been problematic, Garland is the natural point guard -- the growing passer with a crafty handle and ability get into the paint and score at all three levels. Chris Fedor, cleveland, "Will Cleveland Cavaliers be able to trade Andre Drummond or have to settle for a buyout? Hey, Chris!," 21 Mar. 2021 The crafty Broward veterans kept the ball in play and won going away 6-3, 6-2. Emmett Hall,, "Brian Piccolo Tennis Center celebrates USTA Sectional Championship," 4 Mar. 2021

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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Time Traveler for crafty

Time Traveler

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

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Statistics for crafty

Last Updated

20 Apr 2021

Cite this Entry

“Crafty.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 23 Apr. 2021.

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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

More from Merriam-Webster on crafty

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for crafty

Nglish: Translation of crafty for Spanish Speakers

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