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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. 2016.
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Examples from the Web for crafty
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • Dost thou think by this crafty excuse to cheat me of that which I desire?

    Faustus Friedrich Maximilian von Klinger
  • He was very pleased with the hospital, but expressed a crafty sentiment.

    In Mesopotamia Martin Swayne
  • There was a female slave the property of some crafty men who by her means traded on the simplicity of the colonists.

  • One hardly ever does when he is being led on to do some wrong act by a crafty villain.

    Under Fire Frank A. Munsey
  • "Not if I know it," growled Phil, flattered by the words of the crafty fellow.

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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