• 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.
Show More

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 wiliest

Historical Examples

  • 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
Show More
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.

Show More
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper