Definition of crafty in English:



  • 1Clever at achieving one's aims by indirect or deceitful methods.

    ‘a crafty crook faked an injury to escape from prison’
    • ‘As crafty administrators will tell you, appoint a committee to insulate yourself against public criticism.’
    • ‘She's very crafty… but, of course, I'm the one who agreed to it.’
    • ‘Steve was, and is, a pretty crafty hardware and software guy.’
    • ‘The tiger was too careful and too crafty to reveal himself just like that.’
    • ‘She was that sort of girl, really quick and crafty.’
    • ‘But Cass is pretty crafty and declares he is starting his own country.’
    • ‘I knew not that thy men were crafty and deceitful like a fox.’
    • ‘Miles isn't yet as efficient as Williams would like, but he is quick, crafty and sometimes sensational.’
    • ‘The crafty woman was clever enough not to give me the mobiles.’
    • ‘My neighbors include a family of armadillos, a crafty old opossum and a resourceful raccoon.’
    • ‘But elders get to be elders by being cunning and crafty.’
    • ‘The Geordies love him, opponents loathe him but he's crafty, cunning and still top class.’
    • ‘Beware of a crafty and clever individual who can talk you into making a bad financial deal.’
    • ‘That gets him in trouble against quick, crafty pass rushers.’
    • ‘‘He was courageous, clever, confident, some people even say he was crafty,’ a friend describes the young schoolboy.’
    • ‘Beware of a crafty person who undermines your achievement at work.’
    • ‘But they do like to dig up the garden, and are renowned as crafty escape artists.’
    • ‘"Oh, he's much too crafty for that, " replied Armand.’
    • ‘Perhaps jurors minds were perverted by the words of some pretty crafty lawyers?’
    • ‘It's just possible that crafty, quick, powerful Jones could defeat any fighter in any weight class in the world.’
    cunning, guileful, wily, artful, devious, sly, tricky, duplicitous, dishonest, underhand, cheating, deceitful, janus-faced, sharp, scheming, calculating, designing, evasive
    shrewd, astute, canny
    View synonyms
    1. 1.1Of, involving, or relating to indirect or deceitful methods.
      ‘a shameless and crafty trick to mislead public opinion’
      • ‘We're just wondering what crafty manoeuvre he'll have up his sleeve this time.’
      • ‘‘Well, usually I'd just walk in,’ Dallas said as he scratched his chin and a crafty smile appeared on his face.’
      • ‘He watched her stare at him and held a crafty smile across his face.’
      • ‘Maria is a smoker and while she was having a crafty fag, we'd eye up all the cute smokers.’
      • ‘My red lips curl into a crafty little smile at the thought of that suave, devil of a man sitting on the sixty-eighth floor.’
      • ‘The crafty machinations of the camera yield the spontaneity of the snapshot.’
      • ‘He is kidnapped and his friends try to save him - but are are captured by the Queen's crafty cunning.’
      • ‘The carrot-and-stick strategy at first seemed ingenious or at least crafty.’
      • ‘He pieces together the history behind the crafty tricks and cunning plans of conflict.’
      • ‘She would have to do some fairly under handed and crafty lying to convince him to leave without revealing the conspiracy.’
      • ‘Meanwhile, a surreptitious measure of whisky is pulled from his pocket for a crafty nip.’
      • ‘These composition and narrative tricks would seemingly sink another film, making it too clever and crafty in a self-serving fashion.’
      • ‘The government has wised up to the crafty ways of the wily general.’
      • ‘This year, a lot of GMs have pulled off some crafty trades and astute free-agent signings.’
      • ‘The film makes crafty use of suspense from the beginning and there are subtle elements of mystery.’
      • ‘She glanced back along the corridor to where Hank still stood watching, and a crafty smile tilted her lips.’
      • ‘And while I was in there any thoughts of having a crafty fag dispersed at the sight of the smoke alarms.’
      • ‘His methods are crafty and cunning, he is the master deceiver.’
      • ‘He utilizes the crafty technique of a savvy veteran.’
      • ‘This is particularly true in the office, where crafty technologies help bosses keep abreast of what their employees are doing.’
  • 2informal Of, involving, or relating to the making of decorative objects and other things by hand.

    ‘a market full of crafty pots and interesting earrings’
    • ‘Tap into your inner Picasso with these crafty tricks.’
    • ‘Sunday morning, Tracy, her mother, and I went shopping at a couple of cute little crafty stores.’
    • ‘If you are interested in joining a group of crafty ladies do come along and join in the fun.’


Old English cræftig strong, powerful later skillful (see craft, -y).