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wily

[wahy-lee] /ˈwaɪ li/
adjective, wilier, wiliest.
1.
full of, marked by, or proceeding from wiles; crafty; cunning.
Origin of wily
1250-1300
Middle English word dating back to 1250-1300; See origin at wile, -y1
Related forms
wilily, adverb
wiliness, noun
overwily, adjective
unwily, adjective
Synonyms
artful, sly, designing, intriguing, tricky, foxy, deceitful, treacherous.
Antonyms
straightforward, open.
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2017.
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Examples from the Web for wiliness
Historical Examples
  • Garnache went about sounding the man with a wiliness peculiarly his own.

    St. Martin's Summer Rafael Sabatini
  • Bobby smiled up at him in smug satisfaction over his own wiliness.

    The Dominant Strain Anna Chapin Ray
  • I will watch with the wiliness of a snake, that I may sting with its venom.

    Frankenstein Mary W. Shelley
  • "What the brethren wanted in strength they had in wiliness," he says.

    The Beginners of a Nation Edward Eggleston.
  • It depends a lot upon the wiliness of the fox he's in pursuit of.

  • Love had already given strength and wiliness to the countess.

    Maitre Cornelius Honore de Balzac
  • I asked with a still further meekness that was the depths of wiliness.

    The Tinder-Box Maria Thompson Daviess
  • Who knowing their wiliness, saith to them: Why tempt you me?

  • Perhaps it was the reputation for wiliness Forrest had earned which put the Yankee commander on his guard.

    Ride Proud, Rebel! Andre Alice Norton
  • William was strong and wily, and it was this combination of strength and wiliness which enabled him to bear down all opposition.

British Dictionary definitions for wiliness

wily

/ˈwaɪlɪ/
adjective wilier, wiliest
1.
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 wiliness

wily

adj.

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

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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11
13
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