When you’re sly, you’re crafty, cunning, tricky, and wily. Being sly is being deceitful, though not in the worst way.

If you’re good at lying, you’re quite sly: people who are sly are good at pulling one over on other people. Being sly helps you get away with things. If you made a mess in your house but got your parents to blame the dog, that was sly. Being sly means you’re not being honest, but this word has kind of a harmless flavor to it. Someone who killed someone and lied about it would not be described as sly. Slyness has to do with smaller, sneakier, more harmless kinds of lying.

Definitions of sly
  1. adjective

    marked by skill in deception

    sly as a fox”
    crafty, cunning, dodgy, foxy, guileful, knavish, slick, tricksy, tricky, wily


    marked by skill in achieving a desired end especially with cunning or craft

Word Family