wile

[ wahyl ]
/ waɪl /
||

noun

a trick, artifice, or stratagem meant to fool, trap, or entice; device.
wiles, artful or beguiling behavior.
deceitful cunning; trickery.

verb (used with object), wiled, wil·ing.

to beguile, entice, or lure (usually followed by away, from, into, etc.): The music wiled him from his study.

Verb Phrases

wile away, to spend or pass (time), especially in a leisurely or pleasurable fashion: to wile away the long winter nights.

Origin of wile

1125–75; (noun) Middle English; late Old English wil, perhaps < Old Norse vēl artifice, earlier *wihl-
SYNONYMS FOR wile
3 chicanery, fraud.
Related formsout·wile, verb (used with object), out·wiled, out·wil·ing.
Can be confusedwhile wile
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for wiles

British Dictionary definitions for wiles

wile

/ (waɪl) /

noun

trickery, cunning, or craftiness
(usually plural) an artful or seductive trick or ploy

verb

(tr) to lure, beguile, or entice

Word Origin for wile

C12: from Old Norse vel craft; probably related to Old French wīle, Old English wīgle magic. See guile
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 wiles

wile


n.

mid-12c., wil "wile, trick," perhaps from Old North French *wile (Old French guile), or directly from a Scandinavian source (cf. Old Norse vel "trick, craft, fraud," vela "defraud"). Perhaps ultimately related to Old English wicca "wizard" (see Wicca). Lighter sense of "amorous or playful trick" is from c.1600. Wily is attested from c.1300.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper