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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. 2018.
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Examples from the Web for crafty
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • Then, in the next instant, a crafty triumph gleamed from his eyes.

    Within the Law Marvin Dana
  • She regarded the Inspector shrewdly, a crafty glint in her eyes.

    Within the Law Marvin Dana
  • The gods were ever crafty, and they had unguessed ways of attaining their ends.

    White Fang Jack London
  • For this reason, also, foxes are crafty and eloquent even at the present day.

    Aino Folk-Tales Basil Hall Chamberlain
  • He disappointeth the devices of the crafty, so that their hands cannot perform their enterprise.

    Blood and Iron John Hubert Greusel
British Dictionary definitions for crafty


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 crafty

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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