- resourceful; fertile in expedients.
- given to or full of evasions; tricky.
- suggesting a deceptive or evasive character: a shifty look.
Origin of shifty
SynonymsSee more synonyms for shifty on Thesaurus.com
Examples from the Web for shifty
Through some shifty maneuvering, I cut the line and managed to be one of the first ones in.Partying With the Golden Globes Stars: Taylor Swift Cuts a Rug, Ben Affleck Holds Court, and More
January 13, 2014
Whether you like or loathe the AMC mystery, you love Holder, the shifty cop played by Joel Kinnaman.Joel Kinnaman: ‘The Killing’s’ Scene-Stealer
May 25, 2012
The shifty, ungenerous spirit of compromise awoke in Raymount.Weighed and Wanting
Eccles faced him unwillingly, with a stolid front but shifty eyes.The Black Bag
Louis Joseph Vance
He gave an impression of dry dinginess, like rawhide, and his eyes were mean and shifty.
He stared at her fixedly, his shifty eyes for once held steady.
“I am that,” exclaimed the other, with a gleam of cupidity in his shifty eyes.The Golden Woman
- given to evasions; artful
- furtive in character or appearance
- full of expedients; resourceful
Word Origin and History for shifty
1560s, "able to manage for oneself, fertile in expedients," from shift (n.1) in secondary sense of "dodge, trick, artifice" + -y (2). Meaning "habitually using dishonest methods, characterized by trickery" first recorded 1837. In a sense "prone to shifting," of the wind, used from 1884. Related: Shiftily; shiftiness.