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[kraf-tee, krahf-] /ˈkræf ti, ˈkrɑf-/
adjective, craftier, craftiest.
skillful in underhand or evil schemes; cunning; deceitful; sly.
Obsolete. skillful; ingenious; dexterous.
Origin of crafty
before 900; Middle English; Old English cræftig skilled. See craft, -y1
Related forms
craftily, adverb
craftiness, noun
quasi-craftily, adverb
quasi-crafty, adjective
uncraftily, adverb
uncraftiness, noun
uncrafty, adjective
1. wily, tricky, designing, scheming. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2017.
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Examples from the Web for craftily
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • “Yes, if we go on working hard this afternoon I think we shall finish them,” replied Raymonde craftily.

    The Madcap of the School Angela Brazil
  • "It will be rather awkward if I can't find my keys," said Graham craftily.

    The Young Adventurer Horatio Alger
  • Jess has told me with a beaming face how craftily he behaved.

    A Window in Thrums J. M. Barrie
  • "You stole more than the clothing and the letter," went on the purser, craftily.

    Randy of the River Horatio Alger Jr.
  • craftily he jerked and twisted it, till his own photograph (a black smudge on white) gradually appeared to view.

    Auld Licht Idylls J. M. Barrie
  • And on that she departed, craftily, leaving her suggestion to prey upon his mind.

  • Once, perhaps, by some bridle-gate, craftily hung at precisely the angle which prevents your reaching its latch or hasp.

    Riding Recollections, 5th ed. G. J. Whyte-Melville
  • But here Charles craftily paused and looked away, a man at fault.

British Dictionary definitions for craftily


adjective craftier, craftiest
skilled in deception; shrewd; cunning
(archaic) skilful
Derived Forms
craftily, adverb
craftiness, noun
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for craftily



c.1200, crafti, from Old English cræftig "strong, powerful," later "skillful, ingenious," degenerating by c.1200 to "cunning, sly" (but through 15c. also "skillfully done or made; intelligent, learned; artful, scientific") from craft (n.) + -y (2). Related: Craftily; craftiness.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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