• synonyms


See more synonyms for wily on Thesaurus.com
adjective, wil·i·er, wil·i·est.
  1. full of, marked by, or proceeding from wiles; crafty; cunning.
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Origin of wily

Middle English word dating back to 1250–1300; see origin at wile, -y1
Related formswil·i·ly, adverbwil·i·ness, nouno·ver·wil·y, adjectiveun·wil·y, adjective


See more synonyms for wily on Thesaurus.com
artful, sly, designing, intriguing, tricky, foxy, deceitful, treacherous.


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

Examples from the Web for wilier

Historical Examples

  • As we laid her 'neath the wilier on the banks o' Turkey Run.

    Oklahoma and Other Poems

    Freeman E. Miller

  • De Courcy failed, but the De Burghs were wilier and more successful.

  • But he emerged a better and wilier bandit than before, to embark upon a career that made his former life seem tame.

  • I have seen women steeped in trickery; the wilier they were the more love surrounded them.


    Magdeleine Marx

British Dictionary definitions for wilier


adjective wilier or wiliest
  1. characterized by or proceeding from wiles; sly or crafty
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Derived Formswiliness, 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 wilier



c.1300, from wile + -ly (1). Related: Wiliness.

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper