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

Synonyms for wily

Antonyms for wily

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

Examples from the Web for wiliest

Historical Examples of wiliest

  • Twist says not Twist calls her the wiliest serpent he ever saw, but not mad.

    One Of Them

    Charles James Lever

  • In this long controversy the French were the wiliest, the British were the most arrogant.

    The Mentor: The War of 1812

    Albert Bushnell Hart

  • The wiliest person cannot for ever conceal his fundamental character from the simplest.

    Mental Efficiency

    Arnold Bennett

  • The wiliest of men could not have summoned up all the tears he shed.

    The Memoirs of Madame Vige Lebrun

    Marie Louise Elisabeth Vige-Lebrun

  • For there, under a log, lurks the wiliest trout I have ever encountered.

    Tenting To-night

    Mary Roberts Rinehart

British Dictionary definitions for wiliest


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



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

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper