Definition of sly in English:

sly

Line breaks: sly
Pronunciation: /slʌɪ
 
/

adjective (slyer, slyest)

Phrases

on the sly

In a secretive fashion: she was drinking on the sly
More example sentences
  • Unfortunately, the train to my conference left at 4 AM after a night spent trying to acquire a travel visa on the sly, which meant drinking a lot of vodka.
  • And there still is such a thing as scavenging on the sly - sneaking into dumpsters for the great find.
  • Younger and wirier than his charge, talking a mile a minute and singing during his chores, he nonetheless shows a careworn, weary face, and he drinks on the sly.
Synonyms

Derivatives

slyly

(also slily) adverb
More example sentences
  • There was no small number of secret looks cast slyly between them during the process.
  • It's a quick, cheap, fun read that's entertaining and slyly apolitical.
  • In contrast to the dignified silence from the other side, even slyly whispered accusations are magnified to sound deafeningly crass.

slyness

noun
More example sentences
  • He can pull a prank with craftiness and slyness, so cunningly that even the heroes of war would not be able to spot it.
  • He seems to know all the possible ways one might lie-with craftiness, slyness, deception.
  • ‘The slyness was a horrible moral and personal version of spots,’ he says, ‘and I think I just grew out of it in a strange way.’

Origin

Middle English (also in the sense 'dexterous'): from Old Norse slœgr 'cunning', originally 'able to strike' from the verb slá; compare with sleight.

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Word of the day coloratura
Pronunciation: ˌkɒlərəˈtjʊərə
noun
elaborate ornamentation of a vocal melody