\ ˈshif-tē How to pronounce shifty (audio) \
shiftier; shiftiest

Definition of shifty

1 : full of or ready with expedients : resourceful
2a : given to deception, evasion, or fraud : tricky
b : capable of evasive movement : elusive a shifty boxer
3 : indicative of a tricky nature shifty eyes

Other Words from shifty

shiftily \ ˈshif-​tə-​lē How to pronounce shifty (audio) \ adverb
shiftiness \ ˈshif-​tē-​nəs How to pronounce shifty (audio) \ noun

Examples of shifty in a Sentence

shifty politicians making deals to channel federal funds into their districts shifty practices such as turning back the odometers on used cars
Recent Examples on the Web Right before leaving the game, Hepburn stayed in front of the shifty Hunter and forced a pass in the waning seconds of the shot clock. Ben Steele, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, 20 Mar. 2022 They are rendered in an intimate style, although her protagonists — usually women — are shifty, coy and opaque. Lovia Gyarkye, The Hollywood Reporter, 10 Feb. 2022 From Wes Welker to Edelman and Danny Amendola, the Patriots have long valued the move-the-chains quality a shifty slot receiver can provide. Mike Rodak |, al, 2 Mar. 2022 The freshman point guard, a shifty ballhandler who combines a sweet smile with a killer crossover, has helped Etiwanda in powering up a level. Los Angeles Times, 6 Feb. 2022 The benefactor of Carman's grunt work at Fairfield was the shifty McClain. Scott Springer, The Enquirer, 5 Feb. 2022 The lobs disappear and shifty dribble-drives into the paint aren’t as frequent. Chris Fedor, cleveland, 1 Feb. 2022 With his haunted gaze and smooth charm, Snipes elevates Carlton into more than a shifty hustler stereotype. Kristen Baldwin,, 19 Nov. 2021 Who were the underwriters who took this obviously shifty company public? Washington Post, 4 Feb. 2022 See More

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'shifty.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

First Known Use of shifty

circa 1570, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Learn More About shifty

Time Traveler for shifty

Time Traveler

The first known use of shifty was circa 1570

See more words from the same year

Statistics for shifty

Last Updated

21 Apr 2022

Cite this Entry

“Shifty.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 18 May. 2022.

Style: MLA
MLACheck Mark Icon ChicagoCheck Mark Icon APACheck Mark Icon Merriam-WebsterCheck Mark Icon

More Definitions for shifty


\ ˈshif-tē How to pronounce shifty (audio) \
shiftier; shiftiest

Kids Definition of shifty

: not worthy of trust : causing suspicion a shifty character

More from Merriam-Webster on shifty

Nglish: Translation of shifty for Spanish Speakers


Test Your Vocabulary

Eponyms: Words Named After People

How Strong Is Your Vocabulary?

Test your vocabulary with our 10-question quiz!

Universal Daily Crossword

A daily challenge for crossword fanatics.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

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