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[wahy-lee] /ˈwaɪ li/
adjective, wilier, wiliest.
full of, marked by, or proceeding from wiles; crafty; cunning.
Origin of wily
1250-1300; Middle English; see wile, -y1
Related forms
wilily, adverb
wiliness, noun
overwily, adjective
unwily, adjective
artful, sly, designing, intriguing, tricky, foxy, deceitful, treacherous.
straightforward, open. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the Web for wilier
Historical Examples
  • I have seen women steeped in trickery; the wilier they were the more love surrounded them.

    Woman Magdeleine Marx
  • As we laid her 'neath the wilier on the banks o' Turkey Run.

    Oklahoma and Other Poems Freeman E. Miller
  • De Courcy failed, but the De Burghs were wilier and more successful.

    The Story Of Ireland Emily Lawless
  • But he emerged a better and wilier bandit than before, to embark upon a career that made his former life seem tame.

    Americans All Various
British Dictionary definitions for wilier


adjective wilier, wiliest
characterized by or proceeding from wiles; sly or crafty
Derived Forms
wiliness, 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 wilier



c.1300, from wile + -ly (1). Related: Wiliness.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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