noun, plural knav·er·ies.

action or practice characteristic of a knave.
unprincipled, untrustworthy, or dishonest dealing; trickery.
a knavish act or practice.

Origin of knavery

First recorded in 1520–30; knave + -ery Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for knavery

Historical Examples of knavery

  • They know that their knavery is no secret but they don't mind.

    Albert Durer

    T. Sturge Moore

  • To “resist not evil” seemed to him then only a rather feeble sort of knavery.

    Dr. Sevier

    George W. Cable

  • From this retreat we could see the proof of knavery in the villages below.

    John Splendid

    Neil Munro

  • He was very cunning to be sure; but the "afflicted" girls could see through his knavery.


    Henry Peterson

  • Folly and knavery were, for a time, completely in the ascendant.

British Dictionary definitions for knavery


noun plural -eries

a deceitful or dishonest act
dishonest conduct; trickery
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 knavery

1520s, from knave + -ery.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper