adjective, shift·i·er, shift·i·est.
- resourceful; fertile in expedients.
- given to or full of evasions; tricky.
- suggesting a deceptive or evasive character: a shifty look.
adjective shiftier or shiftiest
- given to evasions; artful
- furtive in character or appearance
- full of expedients; resourceful
adj.1560s, “able to manage for oneself, fertile in expedients,” from shift (n.1) in secondary sense of “dodge, trick, artifice” + -y (2). Meaning “habitually using dishonest methods, characterized by trickery” first recorded 1837. In a sense “prone to shifting,” of the wind, used from 1884. Related: Shiftily; shiftiness.