Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition.

  • adjective Exhibiting art or skill.
  • adjective Skillful in accomplishing a purpose, especially by the use of cunning or craft.
  • adjective Artificial.

from The Century Dictionary.

  • Done with or characterized by art or skill.
  • Artificial, as opposed to natural; produced or producing by art: as, “too artful a writer,” Dryden, Life of Virgil.
  • Skilful, Of persons, skilful in adapting means to ends; adroit.
  • Of things, skilfully adapted; ingenious; clever.
  • Cunning; crafty; practising or characterized by art or stratagem: as, “the Artful Dodger,” Dickens, Oliver Twist.
  • Synonyms Cunning, Artful, Sly, etc. (see cunning), deceitful, politic, shifty, insidious.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English.

  • adjective Archaic Performed with, or characterized by, art or skill.
  • adjective Artificial; imitative.
  • adjective Using or exhibiting much art, skill, or contrivance; dexterous; skillful.
  • adjective Cunning; disposed to cunning indirectness of dealing; crafty. [The usual sense.]

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.

  • adjective Performed with, or characterized by, art or skill.
  • adjective Artificial; imitative.
  • adjective Using or exhibiting much art, skill, or contrivance; dexterous; skillful.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • adjective not straightforward or candid; giving a false appearance of frankness
  • adjective marked by skill in achieving a desired end especially with cunning or craft

Etymologies

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

art +‎ -ful

Examples

  • Using the tilt of the Sixaxis, you stir the petal of a flower on the breeze, and as you touch other opening blooms on your way, your single pale curl is joined by gradually more colorful petals, eventually assembling the sort of floral cloud seen in artful visions of springtime cherry blossom breezes.

    Archive 2009-02-01

  • She looks closely at the aqua and maroon forms stirring on the empty background, the seasons of her life written in artful prose across her face.

    A Michoacan tradition: the needlework artistry of Hermelinda Reyes

  • Using the tilt of the Sixaxis, you stir the petal of a flower on the breeze, and as you touch other opening blooms on your way, your single pale curl is joined by gradually more colorful petals, eventually assembling the sort of floral cloud seen in artful visions of springtime cherry blossom breezes.

    Flower's Lawful, Logical Wind

  • She looks closely at the aqua and maroon forms stirring on the empty background, the seasons of her life written in artful prose across her face.

    A Michoacan tradition: the needlework artistry of Hermelinda Reyes

  • Interrogation, at its most artful, is a contest of wits.

    The Ploy

  • Interrogation, at its most artful, is a contest of wits.

    The Ploy

  • Hamilton weaves memorable characters and elemental emotions in artful prose with the lofty theme of Western-imposed "education" versus a village's perceived perils of exposure to the developed world.

    The Camel Bookmobile: Summary and book reviews of The Camel Bookmobile by Masha Hamilton.

  • If it wasn't entirely lacking in artful display, I'd say they'd aged it, to take off the new shine.

    Toast:

  • If it wasn't entirely lacking in artful display, I'd say they'd aged it, to take off the new shine.

    Clem's

  • People who are good with things, people like me, can appreciate the infinite diversity of possible tools buried in artful combinations of even the humblest technologies.

    Archive 2005-04-24

Comments

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  • exhibiting artistic skill

    Picasso is generally considered the most artful member of the Cubist movement.

    adjective: clever in a cunning way

    Bernie Madoff's artful Ponzi scheme stole billions of dollars from investors and is considered the largest financial fraud in U.S. history.

    October 11, 2016