Sly meaning

slī
(dial.) Skillful or clever.
adjective
18
3
The definition of sly is someone or something that is clever in a deceitful or cunning way.

An example of something that would be described as sly is a devious secret plot to win an award.

adjective
10
9
Playfully mischievous.

A sly laugh.

adjective
6
4
Stealthy or surreptitious.

Took a sly look at the letter on the table.

adjective
3
7
Clever or cunning, especially in the practice of deceit.
adjective
3
8
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Light or delicate; slight; thin.
adjective
2
2
Mischievous in a playful way; roguish.
adjective
2
3
Artfully cunning; secretly mischievous; wily.
adjective
2
3
Dexterous in performing an action, so as to escape notice; nimble; skillful; cautious; shrewd; knowing; "” in a good sense.
adjective
2
3
Done with, and marked by, artful and dexterous secrecy; subtle; as, a sly trick.
adjective
1
2
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adverb
1
2
Skillful at trickery or deceit; crafty; wily.
adjective
1
3
Showing a secretive, crafty, or wily nature; cunningly underhanded.
adjective
1
3
on the sly
  • In a way intended to escape notice:
    Took extra payments on the sly.
idiom
1
2
on the sly
  • secretly; stealthily
idiom
1
2
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Idioms and Phrasal Verbs

Origin of sly

  • Middle English sleigh from Old Norse slœgr

    From American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition

  • From Middle English sly, sley, from Old Norse slÇ£gr, slÅ“gr (“sly, cunning", literally “capable of hitting or striking"), from Proto-Germanic *slōgiz (“lively, agile, cunning, sly, striking"), from Proto-Indo-European *slak- (“to hit, throw"). Cognate with Icelandic slægur (“crafty, sly"), Norwegian Nynorsk sløg (“sly"), German schlau (“clever, crafty"). Related to sleight, slay.

    From Wiktionary