9 Grammatical Pitfalls


[ahrt-fuh l] /ˈɑrt fəl/
slyly crafty or cunning; deceitful; tricky:
artful schemes.
skillful or clever in adapting means to ends; ingenious:
an artful choice of metaphors and similes.
done with or characterized by art or skill:
artful acting; artful repairs.
Archaic. artificial.
Origin of artful
1605-15; art1 + -ful
Related forms
artfully, adverb
artfulness, noun
unartful, adjective
unartfully, adverb
unartfulness, noun Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for artful
  • His artful images relay the crucial connection between humanity and nature.
  • But there's a thrill in reading these stories-in the artful plots, the often baroque style, and the thick air of desperation.
  • artful and fanciful children's books make frequent cameos around here.
  • Then came the hours practicing artful citrus peels, and the insouciance concerning drinks of raw egg whites.
  • Unsupported by concrete, the shrine's domes rest on the weight of their own artful construction.
  • It is an artful, wonderful, environmentally correct bottle.
  • Distill out useful or artful specialized vocabulary and structures.
  • But it's also a strenuously artful film with a macabre edge that may scare small children.
  • It is in the involved and artful structure of the scenic elements and in the demonstrations of personalities.
  • He even makes a cup of tea artful: he brews a sea-green flower, which opens up in hot water.
British Dictionary definitions for artful


cunning or tricky
skilful in achieving a desired end
(archaic) characterized by skill or art
(archaic) artificial
Derived Forms
artfully, adverb
artfulness, noun
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for artful

1610s, "learned, well-versed in the (liberal) arts," also "characterized by technical skill," from art (n.) + -ful. Meaning "skilled in adapting means to ends" is from 1739. Related: Artfully; artfulness.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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