\ 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 The crafty 5-10 guard scored 10 of the Shamrocks’ 18 field goals and finished with a team-high 26 points. Paul Shepherd, Indianapolis Star, "Connor Lucas' scorching hot night leads No. 4 Brownsburg past No. 9 Westfield," 25 Jan. 2020 Fayet, a puffin expert who studies how the birds migrate and feed, wrote about the crafty bird in her notebook. Ben Guarino, Anchorage Daily News, "Video shows a puffin in Iceland using a tool to scratch an itch," 30 Dec. 2019 Not because editors and reporters are being duped by crafty subjects. Nick Martin, The New Republic, "You Know What Tucker Carlson Believes," 17 Dec. 2019 And the crafty Leopold (who never set foot in his prized colony himself) kept secret the fact that roughly one in three Europeans who went there during the first decade of his rule perished; that statistic would have discouraged others from going. Adam Hochschild, The Atlantic, "The Fight to Decolonize the Museum," 15 Dec. 2019 But after a jumper with 10:21 remaining in the 1st half, the crafty guard from Brooklyn was held in check. J.l. Kirven,, "What we learned: UC Bearcats struggle in loss to Xavier in the Crosstown Shootout," 7 Dec. 2019 Strong and crafty on the ball with excellent game sense, the versatile Stroud will play all over the field. Glenn Graham,, "2019 Baltimore-area boys soccer players to watch," 28 Aug. 2019 Alize Tripp is a good perimeter shooter; junior Shea Tripp is crafty in the post and an excellent inside scorer. Mick Mccabe, Detroit Free Press, "McCabe: Detroit Edison, East Lansing top list of 20 high school girls basketball teams in state," 6 Dec. 2019 Throughout history, despots have tended to be silent, crafty and secretive. Ron Chernow, Twin Cities, "Ron Chernow: Hamilton pushed for a powerful president — and for impeachment powers," 21 Oct. 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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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

19 Feb 2020

Cite this Entry

“Crafty.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 25 Feb. 2020.

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More Definitions for crafty


How to pronounce crafty (audio)

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

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for crafty

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with crafty

Spanish Central: Translation of crafty

Nglish: Translation of crafty for Spanish Speakers

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