adjective (cleverer, cleverest)
- 1Quick to understand, learn, and devise or apply ideas; intelligent: she was an extremely clever and studious young woman how clever of him to think of this!More example sentences
- Jo was clever, cunning, intelligent, very quick, and could see things which other people couldn't.
- This was an interesting idea and it was very clever of Serocath to come up with it.
- ‘It was very clever of him to go for part-ownership of Canova's The Three Graces,’ says another critic.
- 1.1Skilled at doing or achieving something; talented: he was very clever at getting what he wanted both Grandma and Mother were clever with their handsMore example sentences
- You are youthful, intense and clever at work to achieve goals and success in a tough assignment.
- There aren't many that can compete physically with big Brian Irvine but Flo is so clever with the ball at his feet that the need for a physical contest is almost non-existent.
- Women have become incredibly clever at explaining these choices in ways that barely mention social pressures or male desires.
- 1.2Showing skill and originality; ingenious: a simple but clever idea for helping people learn computing he taught the dog to perform some very clever tricksMore example sentences
shrewd, astute, sharp, acute, quick, sharp-witted, quick-witted; ingenious, resourceful, canny, cunning, crafty, artful, wily, slick, neatBritish • informal flyScottish & Northern English • informal pawkyNorth American • informal as sharp as a tack, cute, whip-smart
- I saw nothing original or clever or ingenious about this film.
- It was a clever and original fundraising idea that offered people a challenge.
- We must always remember that what lures people here is the prospect of original and clever ideas.
- 1.3 [usually with negative] • informal Sensible; well advised: Joe had a feeling it wasn’t too clever, leaving Dolly aloneMore example sentences
- The view expressed by Mr. Winer, and to a lesser extent Dr. Grant, is often considered very clever and sensible.
- This is not as clever as it sounds, because Teazers stocks a comprehensive range of men's deodorants in their bathrooms.
- Then Chicken Little crying wolf won't look like such a clever strategy, will it?
- 2 [predic., with negative] British • informal Healthy or well: I was up and about by this time though still not too cleverMore example sentences
- If you're feeling not too clever for some reason, stick on some music - it helps!
- After several midnight loo dashes we woke up on Tuesday morning feeling not too clever.
- I didn't feel too clever driving back either, but managed to avoid passing out on the M1 and got us all back safely.
too clever by half
- • informal (Of a person) annoyingly proud of their intelligence or skill, and liable to overreach themselves: he always was too clever by halfMore example sentences
- Too often the band's lush harmonies and soothing guitars are accompanied by an annoying tendency to be too clever by half.
- The only problem with such a bright Artificial Intelligence is that it would be too clever by half.
- But policymakers are too clever by half to grasp it.
- More example sentences
- Edson's script is enormously intelligent, cleverly interweaving its diverse themes.
- The piece is set in a school gymnasium, cleverly fashioned to achieve a certain timelessness.
- She cleverly dodged the crowd and walked away from the stage, ignoring the requests of students.
Middle English (in the sense 'quick to catch hold', only recorded in this period): perhaps of Dutch or Low German origin, and related to cleave2. In the late 16th century the term came to mean (probably through dialect use) 'manually skilful'; the sense 'possessing mental agility' dates from the early 18th century.