9 Grammatical Pitfalls


[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 wily
  • He has nevertheless been a clever, strong and wily leader.
  • The dEcor is trendy and clever, but the food doesn't hide behind wily frills.
  • The culprit may very well be something I ate or some wily virus.
  • He's also a wily, dedicated professional who takes no prisoners.
  • Electrons are wily particles that, according to the laws of quantum mechanics, just can't be pinned down.
  • Today, technology of the great old game of football is not so much a matter of sneaky formations, wily plays or brute strength.
  • This is a short-term business, one that rewards the young and the wily.
  • Ike, suspicious of the wily dictator, reluctantly agreed.
  • wily and skittish, they bolt at the sight of humans.
  • Rather the problem rests with those wily animals that have adapted to life in suburban and even urban environments.
British Dictionary definitions for wily


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 wily

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

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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