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. adjective
    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
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    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
    show more antonyms...
  2. adjective
    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
    see moresee less
    Antonyms:
    artless
    simple and natural; without cunning or deceit
    careless
    effortless and unstudied
    natural
    in accordance with nature; relating to or concerning nature
    show more antonyms...
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