Artfully



slyly crafty or cunning; deceitful; tricky:
artful schemes.
skillful or clever in adapting means to ends; ingenious:
an artful choice of metaphors and similes.
done with or characterized by or skill:
artful acting; artful repairs.
Archaic. .
Contemporary Examples

I filled out all the necessary forms and artfully forged vaccination records so everything appeared up to date.
Didn’t I Feed You Yesterday? Laura Bennett October 4, 2008

He artfully steps back from a social setting and criticizes it without—I suspect—without letting himself be vulnerable to it.
Mel Brooks Is Always Funny and Often Wise in This 1975 Playboy Interview Alex Belth February 15, 2014

But Decarnin’s tattered jeans and T-shirts were equally as expensive—think $1,000 for an artfully torn tank top.
Balmain’s Big Rip-Off Robin Givhan April 5, 2011

Bags of pasta, bowls of lemons, and five-gallon drums of organic olive oil are artfully laid out to entice diners.
Bon Jovi Rocks Hunger Laura Colarusso October 23, 2011

Perry needs to show improvement on style and substance and demonstrate he can talk “artfully” about the future, Wynn told me.
Rick Perry’s Missing Piece Jill Lawrence September 26, 2011

Historical Examples

Not, perhaps, with full conviction of the truth of the suggestion so artfully arrayed before him.
The Continental Monthly, Vol. 6, No. 6, December 1864 Various

This is why you artfully concealed her name from me until you had won my promise!
Hidden Hand Emma Dorothy Eliza Nevitte Southworth

Streams and waterfalls pour down on all sides, this way and that, in artfully leveled beds.
The Golden Triangle Maurice Leblanc

“It can be a surprise for Aunt Polly,” suggested Meg artfully.
Four Little Blossoms at Brookside Farm Mabel C. Hawley

And yet this has been so artfully prepared for that we accept it as probable.
Americans All Various

adjective
cunning or tricky
skilful in achieving a desired end
(archaic) characterized by skill or art
(archaic) artificial
adj.

1610s, “learned, well-versed in the (liberal) arts,” also “characterized by technical skill,” from art (n.) + -ful. Meaning “skilled in adapting means to ends” is from 1739. Related: Artfully; artfulness.

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