Word of the Day: sly

 
 
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Word of the Day
 
March 10, 2016
 
sly (adjective)
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A sly fox
 
Sly is an adjective used to refer to a sneaky and deceitful person or animal or sneaky, furtive, and deceitful behavior. It also means secret or playfully naughty.

 

Example sentences

 

Emily didn't like James as she thought he was sly; he was always saying mean things about people behind their backs.
I think pretending you like that girl when you are dating someone else is pretty sly.
Tania took a sly helping of cake while no one was looking.
At first, Aaron thought she was serious, but then she gave him a sly grin and he realized she was joking.

 

Words often used with sly
 
sly as a fox: foxes are supposed to be sly and cunning animals, so if you say someone is as sly as a fox, it means you think they are very deceitful and probably clever about being deceitful too.
 
Multi-word forms
 
on the sly: secretly. Example: I turned away for a moment, and my cat took a piece of steak from my plate on the sly.
 
Did you know?
 
Sly syndrome is a rare genetic disease, but the name has nothing to do with the meaning of the word sly; the disease was named after its discoverer, William S. Sly.
 
Other forms
 
slyly (adverb), slyness (noun)
 
Origin
 
Sly dates bat to the second half of the 12th century and comes from the Middle English word sly or sley, which in turn can be traced to the Old Norse word slœgr, meaning 'sly or cunning.'
 
 
 
 
 
Sly in other languages
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
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