Synonyms & Antonyms of wile

(Entry 1 of 2)

1 a clever often underhanded means to achieve an end
  • had to use all of her wiles to convince her guests to stay for dinner

Synonyms for wile

Words Related to wile

Phrases Synonymous with wile



Synonyms & Antonyms of wile (Entry 2 of 2)

to attract or delight as if by magic
  • her stories of the Old South could wile anyone

Synonyms for wile

Words Related to wile

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Frequently Asked Questions About wile

How is the word wile different from other nouns like it?

Some common synonyms of wile are artifice, feint, maneuver, ruse, stratagem, and trick. While all these words mean "an indirect means to gain an end," wile suggests an attempt to entrap or deceive with false allurements.

used all of his wiles to ingratiate himself

When can artifice be used instead of wile?

The synonyms artifice and wile are sometimes interchangeable, but artifice implies ingenious contrivance or invention.

the clever artifices of the stage

When would feint be a good substitute for wile?

The words feint and wile are synonyms, but do differ in nuance. Specifically, feint implies a diversion or distraction of attention away from one's real intent.

a feint toward the enemy's left flank

When is maneuver a more appropriate choice than wile?

The words maneuver and wile can be used in similar contexts, but maneuver suggests adroit and skillful avoidance of difficulty.

last-minute maneuvers to avert bankruptcy

When could ruse be used to replace wile?

Although the words ruse and wile have much in common, ruse stresses an attempt to mislead by a false impression.

the ruses of smugglers

Where would stratagem be a reasonable alternative to wile?

In some situations, the words stratagem and wile are roughly equivalent. However, stratagem implies a ruse used to entrap, outwit, circumvent, or surprise an opponent or enemy.

the stratagem-filled game

When is it sensible to use trick instead of wile?

While in some cases nearly identical to wile, trick may imply deception, roguishness, illusion, and either an evil or harmless end.

the tricks of the trade

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Time Traveler for wile

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

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Cite this Entry

“Wile.” Thesaurus, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 23 Oct. 2021.

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More from Merriam-Webster on wile

Nglish: Translation of wile for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of wile for Arabic Speakers


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