guile

Use the noun guile for cunning, craftiness, and artful duplicity. Acting like you have a job on Wall Street when you're actually unemployed would take a lot of guile.

The noun guile has quite negative connotations, as it refers to the kind of knowledge and skill that can be used by comic book villains for evil and not good! People who have guile are also thought of as being wily (which is also a related word), sneaky, and deceitful. Those who are free of guile are pure and upstanding, and Henry David Thoreau affirms those feelings when he wrote: "It is the work of a brave man surely, in whom there was no guile!"

Definitions of guile
1

n shrewdness as demonstrated by being skilled in deception

Synonyms:
craft, craftiness, cunning, foxiness, slyness, wiliness
Type of:
astuteness, perspicaciousness, perspicacity, shrewdness
intelligence manifested by being astute (as in business dealings)

n the quality of being crafty

Synonyms:
craftiness, deceitfulness
Type of:
disingenuousness
the quality of being disingenuous and lacking candor

n the use of tricks to deceive someone (usually to extract money from them)

Synonyms:
chicane, chicanery, shenanigan, trickery, wile
Types:
dupery, fraud, fraudulence, hoax, humbug, put-on
something intended to deceive; deliberate trickery intended to gain an advantage
jugglery
artful trickery designed to achieve an end
goldbrick
anything that is supposed to be valuable but turns out to be worthless
Type of:
deceit, deception, dissembling, dissimulation
the act of deceiving

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