- mentally bright; having sharp or quick intelligence; able.
- superficially skillful, witty, or original in character or construction; facile: It was an amusing, clever play, but of no lasting value.
- showing inventiveness or originality; ingenious: His clever device was the first to solve the problem.
- adroit with the hands or body; dexterous or nimble.
- Older Use.
Origin of clever
SynonymsSee more synonyms for clever on Thesaurus.com
Examples from the Web for cleverer
And he makes me think, well, this is one of the ways in which conservatives are cleverer and more cunning than liberals.Beck's Lessons for Liberals
June 29, 2011
He was cleverer than most everyone else, but he envied the carefree affluence of the rich and fatuous.The Magazine King
May 1, 2010
He is a very much shrewder and cleverer man than I thought he was.'A Woman Intervenes
Ask our mistress, the old woman; no one in the world is cleverer than she.
There are not many of them better looking; are there any cleverer or better informed?Davenport Dunn, Volume 2 (of 2)
Charles James Lever
Both were Protestants; but if Asgill was the cleverer, Payton was an officer and a gentleman.The Wild Geese
Stanley John Weyman
Then I take it they are cleverer folk than I thought them, for they seem to have deceived you.Luttrell Of Arran
Charles James Lever
- displaying sharp intelligence or mental alertness
- adroit or dexterous, esp with the hands
- smart in a superficial way
- British informal sly; cunning
- (predicative; used with a negative) dialect healthy; fit
Word Origin and History for cleverer
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.