[ klev-er ]
See synonyms for: clevercleverestcleverlycleverness on

adjective,clev·er·er, clev·er·est.
  1. mentally bright; having sharp or quick intelligence; able.

  2. superficially skillful, witty, or original in character or construction; facile: It was an amusing, clever play, but of no lasting value.

  1. showing inventiveness or originality; ingenious: His clever device was the first to solve the problem.

  2. adroit with the hands or body; dexterous or nimble.

  3. Older Use.

Origin of clever

First recorded in 1175–1225; Middle English cliver, perhaps from Old English clifer “claw,” clife “burdock,” or akin to East Frisian klüfer “skillful, agile, alert”; see cleavers, cleft1, clove2

Other words for clever

Opposites for clever

Other words from clever

  • clev·er·ish, adjective
  • clev·er·ish·ly, adverb
  • clev·er·ly, adverb
  • clev·er·ness, noun
  • o·ver·clev·er, adjective
  • o·ver·clev·er·ly, adverb
  • o·ver·clev·er·ness, noun
  • un·clev·er, adjective
  • un·clev·er·ly, adverb
  • un·clev·er·ness, noun

Words Nearby clever Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2024

How to use clever in a sentence

British Dictionary definitions for clever


/ (ˈklɛvə) /

  1. displaying sharp intelligence or mental alertness

  2. adroit or dexterous, esp with the hands

  1. smart in a superficial way

  2. British informal sly; cunning

  3. (predicative; used with a negative) dialect healthy; fit

Origin of clever

C13 cliver (in the sense: quick to seize, adroit), of uncertain origin

Derived forms of clever

  • cleverish, adjective
  • cleverly, adverb
  • cleverness, 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