sly

Definitions

  • Christopher Sly wakes up surrounded by courtiers
    Christopher Sly wakes up surrounded by courtiers
  • WordNet 3.6
    • adj sly 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"
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Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
    • Sly Artfully cunning; secretly mischievous; wily. "For my sly wiles and subtle craftiness,
      The litle of the kingdom I possess."
    • Sly Dexterous in performing an action, so as to escape notice; nimble; skillful; cautious; shrewd; knowing; -- in a good sense. "Be ye sly as serpents, and simple as doves.""Whom graver age
      And long experience hath made wise and sly ."
    • Sly Done with, and marked by, artful and dexterous secrecy; subtle; as, a sly trick. "Envy works in a sly and imperceptible manner."
    • Sly Light or delicate; slight; thin.
    • adv Sly Slyly.
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Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
    • sly Cunning; skilful; shrewd.
    • sly Meanly artful; insidious; crafty.
    • sly Playfully artful; knowing; having an intentionally transparent artfulness.
    • sly Artfully and delicately wrought; cunning; ingenious.
    • sly Thin; fine; slight; slender.
    • sly Illicit: as, sly grog (liquor made in illicit stills).
    • sly Synonyms and
    • sly Cunning, Artful, Sly, etc. (sec cunning).
    • sly Roguish, playful, waggish.
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Chambers's Twentieth Century Dictionary
    • adj Sly slī dexterous in doing anything so as to be unobserved: cunning: wily: secret: done with artful dexterity: illicit
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Idioms

On the sly - If someone does something on the sly, they do it furtively or secretly.
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Sly as a fox - Someone who is as sly as a fox is cunning and experienced and can get what they want, often in an underhand way.
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Etymology

Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
OE. sli, slegh, sleih, Icel. slgr, for slgr,; akin to Sw. slug, Dan. slu, LG. slou, G. schlau,; probably to E. slay, v.t.; cf. G. verschlagen, sly. See Slay (v. t.), and cf. Sleight
Chambers's Twentieth Century Dictionary
Prob. from Ice. slæg-r; cf. Ger. schlau.

Usage

In literature:

She gave Helen a sly glance.
"The Day of the Beast" by Zane Grey
A slave stole the dainties, and drained a beaker of costly wine on the sly.
"A Friend of Caesar" by William Stearns Davis
How Madame Valiere must have gorged on the sly, the rich eccentric!
"The Grey Wig: Stories and Novelettes" by Israel Zangwill
Mary V mentally called him sly and deceitful, and started another quarrel over nothing.
"Skyrider" by B. M. Bower
He was a sleek, sly little man named Chet Fox.
"The Sheriff's Son" by William MacLeod Raine
The wolf is almost as sly and cunning as the fox, and the same caution is required in trapping the animal.
"Camp Life in the Woods and the Tricks of Trapping and Trap Making" by William Hamilton Gibson
The white hunter had not returned to his camp yet, but the sly Ahmed was there.
"The Adventures of Kathlyn" by Harold MacGrath
For my part I cannot think how she can have been sly enough to hide it in that crafty manner, that John might think her an angel!
"Lorna Doone" by R. D. Blackmore
I knowed I'd see him in Flanders makin' up to the gals, the sly dog!
"Two Knapsacks" by John Campbell
A sickening, sly lurch of the ship nearly sent them overboard in a body.
"The Nigger Of The "Narcissus" A Tale Of The Forecastle" by Joseph Conrad
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In poetry:

She has a cunning kind of way
Of looking sly and witty,
As if to say, in baby words,
"I know I'm very pretty."
"Our Helen" by Effie Afton
We always had to do our work at night.
I wondered why we had to be so sly.
I wondered why we couldn't have our fight
Under the open sky.
"Before Action" by Leon Gellert
That he might learn them to be sly,
Right cunningly to cheat and lie.
Witches and warlocks got their creed,
To shoot both horse and kye to deed;
"Address To Satan" by Susannah Hawkins
The tap it gives how arch and sly!
The breath it wakes how fresh and grateful!
Behind its shield how soft the sigh!
The whispered tale of shame how fateful!
"The First Fan" by Oliver Wendell Holmes
Here Cunning boasts to guide their course
With cautious aim and sly design;
But still she checks their native force
Touch'd by her hand, they drop from mine.
"Love" by Jane Bowdler
She mildly made him this reply,
"I know by your alluring eye,
Your ways subtle, your words are sly,
To gain my heart;
That vain attempt ye need not try,
Tho' ye are Art."
"Art And Nature" by Susannah Hawkins

In news:

Bombing in Damascus kills top officials Babak Dehghanpisheh, Debbi Wilgoren and Liz Sly.
Clinton wants more pressure on Stephanie McCrummen and Liz Sly.
Sly Releases New Capabilities Brochure.
Amarillo Slim, Gambler With a Sly Wit, Dies at 83.
Madison radio station axes news staff, including 'Sly' Sylvester.
Sly Releases New Capabilities Brochure .
NEW YORK — For the first time since he took over at Calvin Klein , Francisco Costa explored two formerly untouched areas: the sly sexuality of the founder and his own Brazilian heritage.
Marie Cox at 92 is active and determined, with waves of white hair and a sly sense of humor.
Lakewood's Sly Mansion eligible for historic designation .
Lakewood's Sly Mansion eligible for historic designation.
Mayor Sly James will lead a session of the conference next week in Kansas City.
Kerry Kearney, Sly Geralds & Mike Scalzo.
From the late 60?s to the mid 70?s, Sly And The Family Stone had no money troubles.
THANK YOU(FALETTINME BE MICE ELF AGIN) SLY & THE FAMILY STONE - 1970.
Steven Bernstein's MTO Covers Sly Stone.
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In science:

Chatterjee, S., Diaconis, P. and Sly, A. (2010).
Universality and the circular law for sparse random matrices
Sly, “Reconstruction of Markov Random Fields from Samples: Some Observations and Algorithms,” in Intl. workshop APPROX Approximation, Randomization and Combinatorial Optimization.
Topology Discovery of Sparse Random Graphs With Few Participants
The deterministic Assumptions SLI and EDI will be checked in Lemmas 5.2 and Lemma 5.3 below.
Localization for random block operators
Bhamidi, S., Bresler, G., Sly, A.: Mixing time of exponential random graphs.
Critical phenomena in exponential random graphs
Eyal Lubetzky and Allan Sly Cutoff phenomena for random walks on random regular graphs, arXiv:0812.0060. 5.
Dull cut off for circulants
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