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wily

[wahy-lee]
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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

Synonyms for wily

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Antonyms for wily

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

Related Words for wily

underhanded, sneaky, crooked, shrewd, cagey, scheming, shifty, sly, arch, artful, astute, cunning, deceitful, deceptive, deep, designing, foxy, greasy, insidious, intriguing

Examples from the Web for wily

Contemporary Examples of wily

Historical Examples of wily

  • I roused my energies, and the next time the wily Beadle summoned me, I went.

  • The stratagem of the wily savage was thus perfectly successful.

    King Philip

    John S. C. (John Stevens Cabot) Abbott

  • It was a time for confidences, and the wily Mrs. Dunn realized that fact.

    Cap'n Warren's Wards

    Joseph C. Lincoln

  • In marrying Ben Aboo, the wily Katrina imposed two conditions.

    The Scapegoat

    Hall Caine

  • It was a wily trap he had set me, worthy only of a trickster.


British Dictionary definitions for wily

wily

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 wily

adj.

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

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper