Thesaurus

artful

adjective

Synonyms and Antonyms of artful

  1. 1 clever at attaining one's ends by indirect and often deceptive means the artful lawyer got the witness to admit he had been lying Synonyms of artful beguiling, cagey (also cagy), crafty, cunning, cute, designing, devious, dodgy [chiefly British], foxy, guileful, scheming, shrewd, slick, sly, subtle, tricky, wily Words Related to artful astute, facile, glib, sharp; crooked, deceitful, deceptive, dishonest, fraudulent, insinuating, knavish, Machiavellian, oblique, serpentine, shady, shifty, slippery, sneaky, treacherous, underhand, underhanded, unscrupulous; backhanded, double-dealing, hypocritical, insincere, left-handed, mealy, mealymouthed, smooth-tongued, two-faced; circuitous, circular, roundabout; clandestine, concealed, covert, furtive, hugger-mugger, secret, stealthy, surreptitious, undercover; calculating, plotting Near Antonyms of artful obvious, open, patent, plain, public, unconcealed; aboveboard, candid, direct, forthright, frank, honest, natural, outspoken, plainspoken, real, simple, sincere, straightforward, unaffected, unpretending, unpretentious, unvarnished; childlike, impressionable, simpleminded, unsophisticated, unworldly; unforced, unstudied; trustful, trusting Antonyms of artful artless, guileless, ingenuous, innocent, undesigning

  2. 2 showing a noteworthy use of the imagination and creativity especially in inventing that kitchen gadget is an artful tool for extracting cherry pits Synonyms of artful clever, creative, imaginative, ingenious, innovative, inventiveWords Related to artful adventurous, fresh, groundbreaking, novel, original, visionary; cleverish, gadgety, gimmicky; convenient, handy, neat, nifty, practical, useful; complex, sophisticated; adroit, deft, dexterous (also dextrous), expert, handsome, tricky; brainy, intelligent, sharp, smartNear Antonyms of artful dull, pedantic, pedestrian, stodgy; assembly-line, canned, cookie-cutter, derivative, hackneyed, unoriginal; impractical, uselessAntonyms of artful uncreative, unimaginative

  3. 3 accomplished with trained ability that was an artful way to handle a very delicate situation Synonyms of artful adroit, skillful, bravura, deft, delicate, dexterous (also dextrous), expert, masterful, masterly, practiced (also practised), virtuoso, workmanlikeWords Related to artful facile, smooth; artistic, creative, fancy, ingenious, neat; adept, clever, cunning; able, adequate, capable, competentNear Antonyms of artful awkward, clumsy, crude, klutzy; ineffective, ineffectual; incompetent, ineptAntonyms of artful amateur, amateurish, artless, rude, unprofessional, unskillful

Synonym Discussion of artful

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

Learn More about artful


Seen and Heard

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

Love words? Need even more definitions?

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

WORD OF THE DAY

to make or become suitable or fit

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Love words? Need even more definitions?

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