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[wahy-lee] /ˈwaɪ li/
adjective, wilier, wiliest.
full of, marked by, or proceeding from wiles; crafty; cunning.
Origin of wily
Middle English word dating back to 1250-1300; See origin at wile, -y1
Related forms
wilily, adverb
wiliness, noun
overwily, adjective
unwily, adjective
artful, sly, designing, intriguing, tricky, foxy, deceitful, treacherous.
straightforward, open. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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Examples from the Web for wiliest
Historical Examples
  • Twist says not Twist calls her the wiliest serpent he ever saw, but not mad.

    One Of Them Charles James Lever
  • In this long controversy the French were the wiliest, the British were the most arrogant.

    The Mentor: The War of 1812 Albert Bushnell Hart
  • The wiliest person cannot for ever conceal his fundamental character from the simplest.

    Mental Efficiency Arnold Bennett
  • The wiliest of men could not have summoned up all the tears he shed.

    The Memoirs of Madame Vige Lebrun Marie Louise Elisabeth Vige-Lebrun
  • For there, under a log, lurks the wiliest trout I have ever encountered.

    Tenting To-night Mary Roberts Rinehart
  • My major was the wiliest person I have ever met, also the best officer.

    Over Here Hector MacQuarrie
  • But man is the wiliest of the animals, and the one who profits by experience.

    The Magnetic North Elizabeth Robins (C. E. Raimond)
  • The wiliest fox in the history of the world was never so wily as the Iron Count.

    Truxton King George Barr McCutcheon
  • Nay, but I will essay the wiliest craft to feed thee and me for ever.

    The Homeric Hymns Andrew Lang
  • One of the wiliest and the most harmful doctrines of our times is, I believe, the fashionable ideology of spiritual anti-Semitism.

    The Shield

British Dictionary definitions for wiliest


adjective wilier, wiliest
characterized by or proceeding from wiles; sly or crafty
Derived Forms
wiliness, 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 wiliest



c.1300, from wile + -ly (1). Related: Wiliness.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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