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Definition of SLY

3 definitions found:



Sly \Sly\, a. [Compar. {Slier}or {Slyer}; superl. {Sliest} or {Slyest}.] [OE. sli, slegh, sleih, Icel. sl?gr, for sl?gr; akin to Sw. slug, Dan. slu, LG. slou, G. schlau; probably to E. slay, v.t.; cf. G. verschlagen sly. See {Slay}, v. t., and cf. {Sleight}.]
     1. Dexterous in performing an action, so as to escape notice; nimble; skillful; cautious; shrewd; knowing; -- in a good sense. [1913 Webster]

              Be ye sly as serpents, and simple as doves. --Wyclif (Matt. x. 16). [1913 Webster]

              Whom graver age
              And long experience hath made wise and sly.
                                                    --Fairfax. [1913 Webster]

     2. Artfully cunning; secretly mischievous; wily. [1913 Webster]

              For my sly wiles and subtle craftiness, The litle of the kingdom I possess.   --Spenser. [1913 Webster]

     3. Done with, and marked by, artful and dexterous secrecy; subtle; as, a sly trick. [1913 Webster]

              Envy works in a sly and imperceptible manner. --I. Watts. [1913 Webster]

     4. Light or delicate; slight; thin. [Obs.]
        [1913 Webster]

     {By the sly}, or {On the sly}, in a sly or secret manner. [Colloq.] "Gazed on Hetty's charms by the sly." --G. Eliot.

     {Sly goose} (Zool.), the common sheldrake; -- so named from its craftiness. [1913 Webster]

     Syn: Cunning; crafty; subtile; wily. See {Cunning}. [1913 Webster]

The Collaborative International Dictionary of English v.0.48 [gcide]

Sly \Sly\, adv.
     Slyly. [Obs. or Poetic] --Spenser.
     [1913 Webster]

The Collaborative International Dictionary of English v.0.48 [gcide]

98 Moby Thesaurus words for "sly":
     Byzantine, Machiavellian, Machiavellic, acute, adroit, arch, artful, astute, back-door, backstairs, cagey, calculating, canny, clandestine, clever, covert, crafty, creep, crooked, cunning, cute, deceitful, deep, deep-laid, designing, devious, dexterous, diplomatic, dishonest, disingenuous, downy, feline, foxy, furtive, guileful, gumshoe, hidlings, hole-and-corner, hugger-mugger, ingenious, insidious, inventive, knowing, lurk, masterful, pawky, politic, predatory, privy, quiet, ready, resourceful, scheming, serpentine, shady, sharp, shifty, shrewd, skulk, skulking, slick, slide, slim, slink, slinking, slinky, slippery, smart, smooth, snake, snaky, sneaking, sneaky, snook, sophistical, steal, stealthy, strategic, subtile, subtle, supple, surreptitious, tactical, trickish, tricksy, tricky, under-the-counter, under-the-table, undercover, underground, underhand, underhanded, unfrank, unobtrusive, unscrupulous, vulpine, wary, wily


Moby Thesaurus II by Grady Ward, 1.0 [moby-thesaurus]


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