adjective, clev·er·er, clev·er·est.
- cleveland bay,
- cleveland heights,
- cleveland, grover,
- cleveland, john,
- clever dick,
Origin of clever
Examples from the Web for clever
Few of us are as clever as my Inspector Morse-loving friend.
The clever part is that the present was “re-gifted” from city and state tax revenues.
The clever crooks managed to rack up $2 million in profits over a year, Ares said.The Insane $11 Billion Scam at Retailers’ Return Desks|M.L. Nestel|December 19, 2014|DAILY BEAST
He wants to show her how clever he is and, more importantly, how well the script is going, that there is hope, a future.
The small band of French critics helped shift the view of Hitchcock from a clever, popular entertainer to a Significant Artist.
Dimber-damber, very pretty; a clever rogue who excels his fellows; chief of a gang.The Slang Dictionary|John Camden Hotten
To be sure, the clever, hot-blooded little woman had held herself aloof from the crew's jaunts.The Song of Songs|Hermann Sudermann
And then the continual effort to degrade the Mass, to rob it of its mystery and holy character—it's clever, it's subtle.A Lost Cause|Cyril Arthur Edward Ranger Gull
Her voice suddenly took on the tone of seeming frankness that is the clever woman's best weapon.The Gambler|Katherine Cecil Thurston
Virtue indeed he regarded simply as a trick by which clever hypocrites imposed upon fools.History of the English People, Volume VI (of 8)|John Richard Green
Word Origin for clever
1580s, "handy, dexterous," apparently from East Anglian dialectal cliver "expert at seizing," perhaps from East Frisian klüfer "skillful," or Norwegian dialectic klover "ready, skillful," and perhaps influenced by Old English clifer "claw, hand" (early usages seem to refer to dexterity). Or perhaps akin to Old Norse kleyfr "easy to split" and from a root related to cleave "to split." Extension to intellect is first recorded 1704.
This is a low word, scarcely ever used but in burlesque or conversation; and applied to any thing a man likes, without a settled meaning. [Johnson, 1755]
The meaning has narrowed since, but clever also often in old use and dialect meant "well-shaped, attractive-looking" and in 19c. American English sometimes "good-natured, agreeable." Related: Cleverly; cleverness.