There are 2 main definitions of wile in English:

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wile 1

Pronunciation: /wʌɪl/


Devious or cunning stratagems employed in manipulating or persuading someone to do what one wants: she had been trying out her feminine wiles on Sam
More example sentences
  • It is the Africans who are moving, shifting, thinking, plotting, and therefore digging their own entrenchment in this land upon which so many others have, through wiles and stratagems of their own, entrenched themselves here.
  • By current standards, Eve is old-fashioned, her wiles and stratagems strictly based on aligning herself with men for their power rather than tapping into her own.
  • Cassandra uses all of her wiles to manipulate Duncan.


[with object]
1 archaic Lure; entice: she could be neither driven nor wiled into the parish kirk
More example sentences
  • If I were trapped in repressive, anti-literate society in which books were banned, I think my best bet for memorisation ought to be Machiavelli's The Prince, the better to wile my way to the top.
  • Mike Upchat was not his real name, of course, and no one ever found out what this was; it was also not the only pseudonym he would employ in his schemes to wile his way into a woman's bed.
2 (wile something away) another way of saying while something away. the gang had played monopoly as they wiled away the hours See while.
More example sentences
  • Known for disaffected characters who wile their lives away in seedy Bronx watering holes, Shanley's plays are populated with monologues and dialogues that have been mined for years by young acting students.
  • He tempers this hobby by wiling away the days with his loser friends, and the nights catching lightning bugs.
  • And although I wiled away many hours turning the opposition to toast and liberally covering them in butter, I still logged quite a few hours with the single-player game - playing through it a couple of times.


Middle English: perhaps from an Old Norse word related to vél 'craft'.

Words that rhyme with wile

aisle, Argyle, awhile, beguile, bile, Carlisle, Carlyle, compile, De Stijl, ensile, file, guile, I'll, interfile, isle, Kabyle, kyle, lisle, Lyle, Mikhail, mile, Nile, pile, rank-and-file, resile, rile, Ryle, Sieg Heil, smile, spile, stile, style, tile, vile, Weil, while, worthwhile
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There are 2 main definitions of wile in English:

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wile 2

Pronunciation: /wʌɪl/
Northern Irish informal


1Very bad; terrible: he was wile when he was young
More example sentences
  • They were wile men in those days.
  • I was in a wile state when he was put on a ventilator.
  • I left after the hunger strikes, it was a wile time.
1.1 [attributive] Used to emphasize the extent of something, especially something negative: losing the final was a wile blow
More example sentences
  • It was wile tough handing half of them wee weans in.
  • Those fellas are wile rip off merchants and we didn't trust them.
  • I had a wile sore head.


Very; extremely: this old boy was wile pleased
More example sentences
  • He was a complete gentleman and he was wile down to earth.
  • I wouldn't be getting wile excited about it.
  • She was wile afraid of the dark.


Late 19th century: representing a pronunciation of wild, probably influenced by earlier Scots use of wile as an alteration of vile.

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