wile

noun
\ˈwī(-ə)l \

Definition of wile 

(Entry 1 of 2)

1 : a trick or stratagem intended to ensnare or deceive also : a beguiling or playful trick

2 : skill in outwitting : trickery, guile

wile

verb
wiled; wiling

Definition of wile (Entry 2 of 2)

transitive verb

1 : to lure by or as if by a magic spell : entice

2 [ by alteration ] : while

Keep scrolling for more

Choose the Right Synonym for wile

Noun

trick, ruse, stratagem, maneuver, artifice, wile, feint mean an indirect means to gain an end. trick may imply deception, roguishness, illusion, and either an evil or harmless end. the tricks of the trade ruse stresses an attempt to mislead by a false impression. the ruses of smugglers stratagem implies a ruse used to entrap, outwit, circumvent, or surprise an opponent or enemy. the stratagem-filled game maneuver suggests adroit and skillful avoidance of difficulty. last-minute maneuvers to avert bankruptcy artifice implies ingenious contrivance or invention. the clever artifices of the stage wile suggests an attempt to entrap or deceive with false allurements. used all of his wiles to ingratiate himself feint implies a diversion or distraction of attention away from one's real intent. a feint toward the enemy's left flank

Examples of wile in a Sentence

Noun

had to use all of her wiles to convince her guests to stay for dinner it took both wile and cajolery to talk him into it

Verb

her stories of the Old South could wile anyone
See More

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

Ocean’s 8 playfully enjoys showing off its feminine wiles, like when Constance gives Amita a dating-app lesson or pretty much anything Nine Ball does. Brian Truitt, USA TODAY, "Review: The thieving women of 'Ocean's 8' pretty much steal the franchise," 5 June 2018 This week, the leaders of Europe are lined up to work their wicked wiles on Donald Trump, at a time when there are major disagreements on climate policy, trade, and — above all, at the moment — how to handle the Iran nuclear deal. Heather Hurlburt, Daily Intelligencer, "Europe Reveals Its Latest Strategy for Managing Trump," 24 Apr. 2018 Their default skeptical stance is a prophylactic against the wiles of wishful thinking, a dare to true believers to provide extraordinary evidence in support of extraordinary claims. Lee Billings, Scientific American, "It’s Never Aliens—until It Is," 9 Jan. 2018 Trump’s tweets already show his slim grasp of North Korea’s wiles and intentions. Trudy Rubin, Philly.com, "When Trump meets North Korea's Kim, will he know what he is doing? | Trudy Rubin," 9 Mar. 2018 The party’s leader in the Senate is hated by Mr Moore for having put his wiles—and millions of dollars from conservative donors—behind his rival for the Republican Senate ticket, Luther Strange. The Economist, "LexingtonRoy Moore: kickboxer, sacked judge, US Senator?," 21 Sep. 2017 There exist many sophisticated techniques for convincing others of falsehoods; these wiles lie beyond his grasp. Katy Waldman, Slate Magazine, "Trump’s People Can’t Stop Saying How Well They Know Each Other," 9 Apr. 2017 The actual killer, a stable hand (Kerr Logan) accuses her of using her wiles to manipulate him and mastermind the crime. James Poniewozik, New York Times, "Review: ‘Alias Grace’ Sews a Transfixing True-Crime Quilt," 2 Nov. 2017 Hood said witnesses told investigators the victim was shot wile selling drugs to three unknown black males. Carol Robinson, AL.com, "Woman lied about ex-boyfriend raping her, then tying her up, police say," 5 Nov. 2017

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

Then riders could wile away the hours waiting for a train by looking for Platform 9 3/4 at King’s Cross Station in the hopes of catching the Hogwarts Express with Harry Potter and friends. Melissa Locker, Time, "The Internet Is Sending People All Over on a Heart-Warming Treasure Hunt," 21 Dec. 2017 Directed by Carlos Saldanha, Ferdinand is based on the classic children's book about a peace-loving Spanish bull who would rather wile away the hours smelling flowers and daydreaming than taking to the ring to fight. Pamela Mcclintock, The Hollywood Reporter, "'Star Wars: The Last Jedi' Heads for $425M-Plus Global Blastoff," 12 Dec. 2017 By Joey Green Periodic table + puns galore = dozens of ways to wile away holiday break with hands-on fun. Gemma Tarlach, Discover Magazine, "What to Read in December," 10 Nov. 2017 Start your night out with a hefty meal at the Ace or prepare to wile away part of the day exploring the site. Trevor Fraser, OrlandoSentinel.com, "Ace Cafe makes a play to be Orlando hotspot," 13 July 2017 Sorry! is, to my mind, a perfect way to wile away an hour. Heidi Stevens, chicagotribune.com, "Ice cream for dinner: A summer rules checklist for parents," 21 June 2017 Both are Wimbledon veterans and wile away the hours playing cards, reading magazines and chatting to other fans who have set up camp beside them. Aimee Lewis, CNN, "Wimbledon 2017: The art of queuing for the Wimbledon Queue," 5 July 2017 At the bar, patrons wile away the time by sipping classic drinks such as the Gibson, a martini variation. Charles Passy, WSJ, "For Some New York Restaurants, What’s Old Is New," 11 May 2017

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'wile.' 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 wile

Noun

12th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Verb

14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for wile

Noun

Middle English wil, perhaps of Scandinavian origin; akin to Old Norse vēl deceit, artifice

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about wile

Statistics for wile

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for wile

The first known use of wile was in the 12th century

See more words from the same century

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for wile

wile

noun
\ˈwīl \

Kids Definition of wile

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: a trick meant to trap or deceive

wile

verb
wiled; wiling

Kids Definition of wile (Entry 2 of 2)

Keep scrolling for more

Comments on wile

What made you want to look up wile? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).

WORD OF THE DAY

noxious or harmful

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

A Thanksgiving Word Quiz

  • a-traditional-thanksgiving-dinner
  • November comes from a word for which of the following numbers?
Name That Thing

Test your visual vocabulary with our 10-question challenge!

TAKE THE QUIZ
Dictionary Devil

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

TAKE THE QUIZ

Love words? Need even more definitions?

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