wily

adjective
\ˈwī-lē \
wilier; wiliest

Definition of wily 

: full of wiles : crafty a wily negotiator

Keep scrolling for more

Other Words from wily

wilily \ ˈwī-​lə-​lē \ adverb
wiliness \ ˈwī-​lē-​nəs \ noun

Choose the Right Synonym for wily

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 wily in a Sentence

She turned out to be a wily negotiator. a wily judge of character, she takes advantage of car buyers' insecurities to sell them a bigger machine than they really need

Recent Examples on the Web

He was tightly marked by left-back Diego Laxalt and was criticised for an overly dramatic reaction to a barge from wily veteran Cristian Rodriguez. SI.com, "Didier Deschamps Warns Rivals That France Still Have Room to Improve After Dispatching Uruguay," 7 July 2018 The clubby, moneyed, wily, cricket-mad conservative compares his insurgency, favorably, to the Viet Cong. Karla Adam, Washington Post, "Arron Banks: The brash British millionaire who backed Brexit, befriended the Russian ambassador and loves Trump," 30 June 2018 This free celebration will feature live music, old-fashioned games, free children’s crafts, food, family fun and the return of wily train robbers as visitors ride the park’s train. Emily Sorensen, Pomerado News, "Old-Fashioned Fourth of July offers patriotic fun," 29 June 2018 Many went feral, becoming the ancestors of the wild and wily beasts of Florida rancher history. Vincent Crampton, OrlandoSentinel.com, "Explore Florida's Hardee County: Where Cracker history finds a home," 6 May 2018 As each England kicker approached the spot, Pickford would go out to greet them, handing them the ball personally, a useful tool in preventing any mind games from the wily veteran Ospina. Martin Rogers, USA TODAY, "World Cup penalty shootouts have nothing to do with luck," 5 July 2018 Eager to prove himself to his wily Mossad boss Miki (John Hurt), Ari volunteers for a dangerous job behind enemy lines, with the aim of smuggling a chemicals weapons scientist and his family out of Syria. Stephen Dalton, The Hollywood Reporter, "'Damascus Cover': Film Review," 4 July 2018 This free celebration will feature live music, old-fashioned games, free children’s crafts, food, family fun and the return of wily train robbers as visitors ride the park’s train. Emily Sorensen, Pomerado News, "Old-Fashioned Fourth of July offers patriotic fun," 29 June 2018 As anyone who battled the bugs in their backyard knows, though, mosquitoes are a wily bunch. Melissa Locker, ajc, "Here’s why Disney World doesn’t have mosquitoes," 29 June 2018

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

14th century, in the meaning defined above

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about wily

Statistics for wily

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for wily

The first known use of wily was in the 14th century

See more words from the same century

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for wily

wily

adjective

English Language Learners Definition of wily

: full of clever tricks : very clever

wily

adjective
\ˈwī-lē \
wilier; wiliest

Kids Definition of wily

: full of tricks : crafty

Keep scrolling for more

Comments on wily

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

WORD OF THE DAY

obstinately defiant of authority

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Autumn Words of the Day 2018

  • a-top-down-image-of-road-through-an-autumn-forest
  • Which is a synonym of fugacious?
True or False

Test your knowledge - and maybe learn something along the way.

TAKE THE QUIZ
SCRABBLE® Sprint

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!