V2 Vocabulary Building Dictionary



Definition: clever and tricky, especially in order to deceive

Synonyms: crafty, clever, guileful, beguiling, crooked, cunning, shrewd, slick, tricky, sneaky, concealing, sly, artful, deceptive

Antonyms: honest, forthcoming, frank

Tips: Wily is derived from the word wile, which is the use of tricks in order to deceive. Think of the cartoon character Wile E. Coyote: In his efforts to catch the Road Runner, he tries to be sneaky and sly. Although wily (crooked, sneaky), he's never quite wily (clever, shrewd) enough because he never does catch the Road Runner.

Usage Examples:

He is a wily businessman who would cheat his own mother to make a dollar. (shrewd, crooked, crafty)

She was a wily teenager who often lied to get her way. (tricky, sneaky, slick)

The wily politician somehow managed to lie, cheat, and weasel his way into office. (clever, crooked, cunning)

His wily business practices will eventually get him sued or even thrown in jail. (slick, sly, crooked)

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