Definition of wily in English:

wily

adjective

  • Skilled at gaining an advantage, especially deceitfully:

    ‘his wily opponents’
    • ‘The scene is now set for a series of double-crosses where the wily Carol emerges as the sharpest operator of them all.’
    • ‘But that would be a crass sort of opinion to attribute to a wily man like Pilate.’
    • ‘I'm no technician, but a wily old trader once told me to ignore the news and trust the charts.’
    • ‘It caused uproar at the time, but the wily Italian must be sitting back with a smug smile, puffing on that metaphorical cigar.’
    • ‘He's like that wily friend who's always getting you into trouble but whom you can't help but forgive.’
    • ‘I had no idea such cunning and wily interrogation techniques were still permitted in the Western world.’
    • ‘Completing the family portrait are his ever-compliant wife and wily old dad.’
    • ‘Cunning eyes, wily grins, pesky faces had beamed tenacity and aptness and survival.’
    • ‘His vulnerability, his emotions are those of the wily and ingenuous country lawyer.’
    • ‘But within minutes the wily beetle has dragged the spider across a hillock of red earth and crammed it into its small hole.’
    • ‘He seems less the wily fighting fox and more the cornered stag.’
    • ‘In verity, the foreign debt issue has already put Zambia on a wild economic frontier in this wily world.’
    • ‘He had made one mistake, he had not counted on the skill and determination of his wily opponent.’
    • ‘The wily old fox of cricket had his guests enthralled by witty conversation, which ran late into the night.’
    • ‘He has been a wily politician and he knows that the land issue is an over-simplification.’
    • ‘As a wily guerilla leader and resistance fighter, he deserves respect.’
    • ‘But scientists are finding that the wily creatures can stop cancer in its tracks.’
    • ‘Even the wily street vendors are offering their goods at genuine bargain prices.’
    • ‘Others fought over what fell, scampering across the yard playing wily comedies of keep-away.’
    • ‘As it turns out, uneducated village communists are no match for wily bourgeois sneakiness.’
    shrewd, clever, sharp, sharp-witted, astute, canny, smart
    crafty, cunning, artful, sly, scheming, calculating, guileful, disingenuous, devious, machiavellian
    deceitful, deceptive, janus-faced, dishonest, cheating, double-dealing
    tricky, foxy
    fly
    pawky
    heads-up
    slim
    subtle
    vulpine, carny
    View synonyms

Pronunciation:

wily

/ˈwʌɪli/