1
2
as in intelligent
having or showing quickness of mind a clever student figured out a trick to do the assignment faster

Synonyms & Similar Words

Antonyms & Near Antonyms

3
4
5

Synonym Chooser

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

Thesaurus Entries Near clever

Cite this Entry

“Clever.” Merriam-Webster.com Thesaurus, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/thesaurus/clever. Accessed 14 Jun. 2024.

More from Merriam-Webster on clever

Love words? Need even more definitions?

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