artful

To be artful is to do something skillfully, especially in a cunning way. A con man must be artful.

To be an artist requires skill and talent: it's not easy to make art. Similarly, doing something in an artful way takes skill. A chess player is artful in escaping an opponent's attack. A politician is artful in appealing to different groups of people. This word also indicates that the skill shown is a little cunning or sneaky. In movies, villains are often artful, as they tell lies or hatch schemes. Often, artful is the opposite of straightforward.

Definitions of artful
1

adj not straightforward or candid; giving a false appearance of frankness

Synonyms:
disingenuous
distorted, misrepresented, perverted, twisted
having an intended meaning altered or misrepresented
insincere
lacking sincerity
Antonyms:
artless, ingenuous
characterized by an inability to mask your feelings; not devious
candid, heart-to-heart, open
openly straightforward and direct without reserve or secretiveness
undistorted
without alteration or misrepresentation
sincere
open and genuine; not deceitful
naif, naive
marked by or showing unaffected simplicity and lack of guile or worldly experience
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adj marked by skill in achieving a desired end especially with cunning or craft

“the artful dodger”
“an artful choice of metaphors”
Synonyms:
adroit
quick or skillful or adept in action or thought
crafty, cunning, dodgy, foxy, guileful, knavish, slick, sly, tricksy, tricky, wily
marked by skill in deception
cute, precious
obviously contrived to charm
designing, scheming
concealing crafty designs for advancing your own interest
deep
exhibiting great cunning usually with secrecy
elusive
skillful at eluding capture
manipulative
skillful in influencing or controlling others to your own advantage
pawky
cunning and sly
Antonyms:
artless
simple and natural; without cunning or deceit
careless
effortless and unstudied
natural
in accordance with nature; relating to or concerning nature
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