adjective, shift·i·er, shift·i·est.

  1. resourceful; fertile in expedients.
  2. given to or full of evasions; tricky.
  3. suggesting a deceptive or evasive character: a shifty look.

adjective shiftier or shiftiest

  1. given to evasions; artful
  2. furtive in character or appearance
  3. 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.

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