Word Origin See more synonyms on Thesaurus.com slyly crafty or cunning; deceitful; tricky: artful schemes. skillful or clever in adapting means to ends; ingenious: an artful choice of metaphors and similes. done with or characterized by art or skill: artful acting; artful repairs. . Archaic artificial. Related forms art·ful·ly, adverb art·ful·ness, noun un·art·ful, adjective un·art·ful·ly, adverb un·art·ful·ness, noun
Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018
British Dictionary definitions for unartful cunning or tricky skilful in achieving a desired end archaic characterized by skill or art archaic artificial Derived Forms artfully, adverb artfulness, noun
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
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Word Origin and History for unartful artful adj.
1610s, "learned, well-versed in the (liberal) arts," also "characterized by technical skill," from
art (n.) + -ful. Meaning "skilled in adapting means to ends" is from 1739. Related: Artfully; artfulness.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper