artful


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  1. slyly crafty or cunning; deceitful; tricky: artful schemes.
  2. skillful or clever in adapting means to ends; ingenious: an artful choice of metaphors and similes.
  3. done with or characterized by art or skill: artful acting; artful repairs.
  4. Archaic. artificial.

adjective

  1. cunning or tricky
  2. skilful in achieving a desired end
  3. archaic characterized by skill or art
  4. archaic artificial
adj.

1610s, “learned, well-versed in the (liberal) arts,” also “characterized by technical skill,” from art (n.) + -ful. Meaning “skilled in adapting means to ends” is from 1739. Related: Artfully; artfulness.

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