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Artful definitions

Webster's 1828 Dictionary

ARTFUL, a. [See Art.
1. Performed with art or skill.
2. Artificial, as opposed to natural
3. Cunning; practicing art, or stratagem; crafty; as an artful boy. [This is the most usual sense.]
4. Proceeding from art or craft; as an artful scheme.

WordNet (r) 3.0 (2005)

1: not straightforward or candid; giving a false appearance of frankness; "an ambitious, disingenuous, philistine, and hypocritical operator, who...exemplified...the most disagreeable traits of his time"- David Cannadine; "a disingenuous excuse" [syn: disingenuous, artful] [ant: artless, ingenuous]
2: marked by skill in achieving a desired end especially with cunning or craft; "the artful dodger"; "an artful choice of metaphors" [ant: artless]

Merriam Webster's

adjective Date: 1609 1. performed with or showing art or skill <an artful performance on the violin> 2. a. using or characterized by art and skill ; dexterous <an artful prose stylist> b. adroit in attaining an end usually by insinuating or indirect means ; wily <an artful cross-examiner> 3. artificial <trim walks and artful bowers William Wordsworth> Synonyms: see sly artfully adverb artfulness noun

Oxford Reference Dictionary

adj. (of a person or action) crafty, deceitful. Derivatives: artfully adv. artfulness n.

Webster's 1913 Dictionary

Artful Art"ful, a. [From Art.] 1. Performed with, or characterized by, art or skill. [Archaic] ``Artful strains.'' ``Artful terms.'' --Milton. 2. Artificial; imitative. --Addison. 3. Using or exhibiting much art, skill, or contrivance; dexterous; skillful. He [was] too artful a writer to set down events in exact historical order. --Dryden. 4. Cunning; disposed to cunning indirectness of dealing; crafty; as, an artful boy. [The usual sense.] Artful in speech, in action, and in mind. --Pope. The artful revenge of various animals. --Darwin. Syn: Cunning; skillful; adroit; dexterous; crafty; tricky; deceitful; designing. See Cunning.

Collin's Cobuild Dictionary

1. If you describe someone as artful, you mean that they are clever and skilful at achieving what they want, especially by deceiving people. Some politicians have realised that there are more artful ways of subduing people than shooting or jailing them. = crafty ADJ: usu ADJ n 2. If you use artful to describe the way someone has done or arranged something, you approve of it because it is clever or elegant. (FORMAL) There is also an artful contrast of shapes... ADJ: usu ADJ n [approval]

Soule's Dictionary of English Synonyms

a. Cunning, crafty, wily, subtle, insidious, designing, intriguing, politic, diplomatic, Machiavelian, deceitful, trickish, tricky, sly, foxy, snaky.

Moby Thesaurus

Byzantine, Machiavellian, Machiavellic, acute, adroit, ambidextrous, arch, astute, cagey, calculating, canny, chiseling, clever, collusive, covinous, crafty, crooked, cunning, cute, deceitful, deep, deep-laid, designing, devious, dexterous, diplomatic, dishonest, disingenuous, double, double-dealing, double-faced, double-minded, double-tongued, doublehearted, duplicitous, facile, faithless, false, false-principled, falsehearted, feline, finagling, forsworn, foxy, fraudulent, furtive, guileful, indirect, ingenious, insidious, insincere, inventive, knowing, oily, pawky, perfidious, perjured, politic, ready, resourceful, scheming, serpentine, sharp, shifty, shrewd, slick, slippery, sly, smooth, snaky, sneaky, sophistical, specious, stealthy, strategic, suave, subtile, subtle, superficial, supple, surreptitious, tactical, treacherous, trickish, tricksy, tricky, two-faced, uncandid, underhand, underhanded, unfrank, unsincere, untruthful, vulpine, wary, wily


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