Thesaurus

clever

adjective

Synonyms & Antonyms of clever

1 showing a noteworthy use of the imagination and creativity especially in inventing
  • an inventor who was constantly coming up with clever devices for doing everyday chores

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2 having or showing quickness of mind
  • a clever student figured out a trick to do the assignment faster

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3 skillful with the hands
  • the Shakers were clever artisans who created many ingenious and highly useful devices

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5 having the skill and imagination to create new things
  • I wonder what clever person thought of the digital camera

Synonyms for clever

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See the Dictionary Definition 

Frequently Asked Questions About clever

How does the adjective clever differ from other similar words?

Some common synonyms of clever are adroit, cunning, and ingenious. While all these words mean "having or showing practical wit or skill in contriving," clever stresses physical or mental quickness, deftness, or great aptitude.

a person clever with horses

When might adroit be a better fit than clever?

The words adroit and clever can be used in similar contexts, but adroit often implies a skillful use of expedients to achieve one's purpose in spite of difficulties.

an adroit negotiator

Where would cunning be a reasonable alternative to clever?

The meanings of cunning and clever largely overlap; however, cunning implies great skill in constructing or creating.

a filmmaker cunning in his use of special effects

When is it sensible to use ingenious instead of clever?

While the synonyms ingenious and clever are close in meaning, ingenious suggests the power of inventing or discovering a new way of accomplishing something.

an ingenious software engineer

Learn More About clever

Time Traveler for clever

Time Traveler

The first known use of clever was circa 1595

See more words from the same year

Thesaurus Entries Near clever

clerkships

clever

cleverish

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Cite this Entry

“Clever.” Merriam-Webster.com Thesaurus, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/thesaurus/clever. Accessed 5 Dec. 2021.

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More from Merriam-Webster on clever

Nglish: Translation of clever for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of clever for Arabic Speakers

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