[gahyl-fuh l]


insidiously cunning; artfully deceptive; wily.

Origin of guileful

Middle English word dating back to 1300–50; see origin at guile, -ful
Related formsguile·ful·ly, adverbguile·ful·ness, nounun·guile·ful, adjective Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for guileful

Historical Examples of guileful

  • Why,” he added, with guileful simplicity, “you were wearing that very suit you have on now.

    The Law-Breakers

    Ridgwell Cullum

  • He had been soundly schooled by his guileful Sicilian mother.

    The Sea-Hawk

    Raphael Sabatini

  • He used every guileful ruse to cheat time of his determined moment.

    Sinister Street, vol. 1

    Compton Mackenzie

  • He was the son of Bolverk, the son of Eyjolf the guileful, of Otterdale.

  • It seemed as if it could not be very deep or guileful, it was so frankly expressed.

    The Frontiersmen

    Charles Egbert Craddock

Word Origin and History for guileful

c.1300, from guile + -ful. Nowadays only in poems and dictionaries. Related: Guilefully; guilefulness.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper