\ 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 In the home bullpen, a crafty old Cuban with a Fu Manchu mustache was warming up. Paul Daugherty,, "Paul Daugherty: You think you know how the 1975 World Series turned out. Do you really?," 28 Mar. 2020 Content things, comedy things, music things, crafty things, robot things, furniture things, all the things. Ellen Mcgirt, Fortune, "A global network of at-home creators are finding ways to help health care workers during the coronavirus pandemic," 26 Mar. 2020 But they are personified by Shafer, a 6-foot-6 forward with crafty post moves lifted from a Kevin McHale mix tape. New York Times, "How a Positive Thinker Took Swarthmore From Nowhere to No. 1," 6 Mar. 2020 But for the cheapskates crafty folk among us, there’s no better stamp than a potato. Heather Arndt Anderson, Sunset Magazine, "These Plantable Valentines Are Sweet and Easy to DIY," 12 Feb. 2020 Washington’s system is crafty and well-coached, with its bevy of intertwined receiver releases and multi-option route combinations. Andy Benoit,, "The Redskins Will Struggle With Whoever Is at QB," 16 Aug. 2019 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

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

1 Apr 2020

Cite this Entry

“Crafty.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 3 Apr. 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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