• WordNet 3.6
    • adj knavish marked by skill in deception "cunning men often pass for wise","deep political machinations","a foxy scheme","a slick evasive answer","sly as a fox","tricky Dick","a wily old attorney"
    • ***
Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
    • Knavish Like or characteristic of a knave{3}; given to knavery; trickish; fraudulent; dishonest; villainous; as, a knavish fellow, or a knavish trick. "Knavish politicians."
    • Knavish Mischievous; roguish; waggish; rascally. "Cupid is knavish lad,
      Thus to make poor females mad."
    • ***
Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
    • knavish Like a knave; suited to a knave; tricky; dishonest; fraudulent: as, a knavish fellow; a knavish trick.
    • knavish Roguish; waggish; mischievous.
    • knavish Synonyms Trickish, rascally, unprincipled.
    • ***
Chambers's Twentieth Century Dictionary
    • adj Knavish fraudulent: villainous
    • ***


Chambers's Twentieth Century Dictionary
A.S. cnafa, cnapa, a boy, a youth; Ger. knabe, knappe.


In literature:

They are malicious, revengeful, and knavish.
"Travels in Peru, on the Coast, in the Sierra, Across the Cordilleras and the Andes, into the Primeval Forests" by J. J. von Tschudi
He smiled knavishly, with an expression of scorn, as if rejoicing over the inferiority in which dwells the woman of the fields.
"The Dead Command" by Vicente Blasco Ibáñez
I tell you, Dic, a fool conscience is more to be dreaded than a knavish heart.
"A Forest Hearth: A Romance of Indiana in the Thirties" by Charles Major
Knavish propensities are inherent: born with the child and transmissible from parent to son.
"Twelve Causes of Dishonesty" by Henry Ward Beecher
Fie, there's a knavish itch In that salt blood, an utter foe to smarting.
"Venice Preserved" by Thomas Otway
This is where that knavish old rascal, Carpenter Wacht, lives, isn't it?
"Weird Tales, Vol. II." by E. T. A. Hoffmann
Now are there knavish tricks in practice.
"Olla Podrida" by Frederick Marryat
As soon as the travellers stopped, these knavish Long-noses ceased to pelt them.
"The Three Mulla-mulgars" by Walter De La Mare
Choisseul once more withdrew, to perform the treacherous and knavish part assigned him.
"Wilson's Tales of the Borders and of Scotland, Vol. 9" by Various
He has a knavish look, sister, and has been hatching mischief with every step of his horse.
"Horse-Shoe Robinson" by John Pendleton Kennedy

In poetry:

That he did likewise traitorously,
To bring his ends to bear,
Enrich himself most knavishly;
O thief without compare!
"The Viceroy. A Ballad." by Matthew Prior
Now no longer
Can I bear him;
I will snare him,
Knavish sprite!
Ah, my terror waxes stronger!
What a look! what fearful sight
"The Pupil In Magic" by Johann Wolfgang von Goethe
You've lagged too long, the tide has turned,
Your helmsmen all were knavish;
And now we'll be—as bold and free,
As we've been tame and slavish.
"A Chartist Chorus" by Ernest Jones
O Lord our God arise,
Scatter his enemies,
And make them fall; Confound their politics,
Frustrate their knavish tricks,
On thee our hopes we fix:
God save us all!
"God Save The King" by Henry Carey
So when the gentry called him in,
He entered with a knavish grin
And sipped a glass of wine;
But when they asked would he recite
Something of late he'd chanced to write
He ettled to decline.
"Poet And Peer" by Robert W Service

In news:

(Fans joke that the play actually dates back to Shakespeare's day: In "Hamlet," an acting troupe puts on a show called "The Mouse-trap ," which the Danish prince declares "a knavish piece of work.