Definition of wily in English:

Share this entry


Pronunciation: /ˈwīlē/

adjective (wilier, wiliest)

Skilled at gaining an advantage, especially deceitfully: his wily opponents
More example sentences
  • He had made one mistake, he had not counted on the skill and determination of his wily opponent.
  • I had no idea such cunning and wily interrogation techniques were still permitted in the Western world.
  • The scene is now set for a series of double-crosses where the wily Carol emerges as the sharpest operator of them all.
shrewd, clever, sharp, sharp-witted, astute, canny, smart;
crafty, cunning, artful, sly, scheming, calculating, devious
informal clueful, tricky, foxy
archaic subtle



Pronunciation: /ˈwīlilē/
Example sentences
  • Whereupon the Apprentice Wizard wilily watched the wily Master Wizard for a while and after that while whispered wonderingly, ‘Is that all it means, oh wise and wonderful Sir?’


Pronunciation: /ˈwīlēnəs/
Example sentences
  • But one person's skulduggery is another's wiliness.
  • A fiend for organising mega cultural events in college, young Ismail's wiliness and wheedling skills come to the fore in organising mega cultural events in college.
  • The success of this programme is largely due to the tremendous support of local employers who have welcomed trainees into their businesses with a wiliness that has truly worked.

Words that rhyme with wily

drily, kylie, Riley, shyly, slyly, smiley, Smily, wryly
Share this entry

What do you find interesting about this word or phrase?

Comments that don't adhere to our Community Guidelines may be moderated or removed.