Definition of artful in English:


Line breaks: art¦ful
Pronunciation: /ˈɑːtfʊl
, -f(ə)l/


1Clever or skilful, especially in a crafty or cunning way: her artful wiles
More example sentences
  • It is based on the observation that with a sufficient amount of clever handwaving and artful verbiage, you can interpret any piece of writing as a statement about anything at all.
  • United and Arsenal both discovered to their cost just how artful and ruthless this double act can be.
  • They were led into this cul-de-sac by the champion of artful deception, Bill Clinton.
sly, crafty, cunning, wily, scheming, devious, Machiavellian, sneaky, guileful, tricky, conniving, designing, calculating; shrewd, astute, sharp-witted, sharp, acute, intelligent, clever, alert, canny; deceitful, deceptive, duplicitous, cheating, dishonest, disingenuous, underhand, untrustworthy, unscrupulous, double-dealing
informal dirty, foxy, shifty, smart
British informal fly
Australian/New Zealand informal shonky
South African informal slim
rare vulpine, carny, subtle
2Showing creative skill or taste: an artful photograph of a striking woman
More example sentences
  • In the hands of a creative photographer, an artful landscape can be made of any subject from a New England farm to an Inca ruin in Peru.
  • It's artful and creative - gutsy even - but at no point did you get the feeling that these were battles of life and death.
  • To adapt, change, or develop requires incorporating the spirit and artful skills of communication into every step of a plan.



More example sentences
  • Finkiel artfully weaves the three women's stories and perhaps one of the most noteworthy elements of the film is its casting.
  • I now have more space on my desk, the massive multiplug has been artfully concealed, and the wires are no longer a gnarled mess.
  • This article demonstrates how easily a simple story can be artfully inflated to epic proportions.


More example sentences
  • Those that knew Levis as a friend, colleague, or teacher sometimes found it puzzling to try to reconcile the good humor, whimsy, and carelessness of the man with the artfulness, erudition, cunning, and darkness of his poetry.
  • The Polaroid is a social product and ultimately generic, yet as a medium it possesses an aesthetic quality that is chosen by its user, bringing artfulness to the realm of consumer photography.
  • These are questions that the Macalester community frequently asks, although rarely with such artfulness.

Definition of artful in:

Get more from Oxford Dictionaries

Subscribe to remove adverts and access premium resources

Word of the day impudicity
Pronunciation: ˌɪmpjʊˈdɪsɪti
lack of modesty