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[kraf-tee, krahf-]
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adjective, craft·i·er, craft·i·est.
  1. skillful in underhand or evil schemes; cunning; deceitful; sly.
  2. Obsolete. skillful; ingenious; dexterous.
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Origin of crafty

before 900; Middle English; Old English cræftig skilled. See craft, -y1
Related formscraft·i·ly, adverbcraft·i·ness, nounqua·si-craft·i·ly, adverbqua·si-craft·y, adjectiveun·craft·i·ly, adverbun·craft·i·ness, nounun·craft·y, adjective


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Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

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Examples from the Web for crafty

Contemporary Examples

Historical Examples

  • Then, in the next instant, a crafty triumph gleamed from his eyes.

    Within the Law

    Marvin Dana

  • She regarded the Inspector shrewdly, a crafty glint in her eyes.

    Within the Law

    Marvin Dana

  • The gods were ever crafty, and they had unguessed ways of attaining their ends.

    White Fang

    Jack London

  • For this reason, also, foxes are crafty and eloquent even at the present day.

    Aino Folk-Tales

    Basil Hall Chamberlain

  • He disappointeth the devices of the crafty, so that their hands cannot perform their enterprise.

    Blood and Iron

    John Hubert Greusel

British Dictionary definitions for crafty


adjective craftier or craftiest
  1. skilled in deception; shrewd; cunning
  2. archaic skilful
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Derived Formscraftily, adverbcraftiness, 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

Word Origin and History for crafty


c.1200, crafti, from Old English cræftig "strong, powerful," later "skillful, ingenious," degenerating by c.1200 to "cunning, sly" (but through 15c. also "skillfully done or made; intelligent, learned; artful, scientific") from craft (n.) + -y (2). Related: Craftily; craftiness.

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper