from The Century Dictionary.

  • noun The quality of being clever; quickness of intellect or mechanical dexterity; adroitness; skill; ingenuity; intelligence.
  • noun Mildness or agreeableness of disposition; obligingness; good nature.
  • noun Synonyms Faculty, Ingenuity, etc. (see genius), aptness, readiness, quickness, expertness.

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

  • noun The quality of being clever; skill; dexterity; adroitness.

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

  • noun The property of being clever.
  • noun Something clever, or done cleverly.

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

  • noun the power of creative imagination
  • noun intelligence as manifested in being quick and witty
  • noun the property of being ingenious


from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

clever +‎ -ness


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  • Nor do the workers themselves complain of this, for, full of admiration for what they call the cleverness of their leaders, they have by their votes rendered possible the gradual rise of these in public life.

    Political Parties; a Sociological Study of the Oligarchical Tendencies of Modern Democracy 1916

  • Some of his shipowning friends were struck with what they called his cleverness, and asked him to convey to them his secret for finding a person so unlike the ordinary shipmaster.

    The Shellback's Progress In the Nineteenth Century Walter Runciman 1892

  • He did not go with me, for my aunt wanted him to hold skeins of wool for her to wind, but he made up to me for the disappointment that evening by sitting by me while I pinned out my few but far from rare captures, taking great pleasure in holding the pins for me, and praising what he called my cleverness in cutting out pieces of card.

    Nat the Naturalist A Boy's Adventures in the Eastern Seas George Manville Fenn 1870

  • "Besides, what you call cleverness is not at all necessary in a girl; she is perfectly lady-like; even you won't deny that."

    Framley Parsonage Anthony Trollope 1848

  • A crucial facet of human cleverness is sensitivity to social tone.

    Ideas for modern living: digital scepticism Tom Chatfield 2010

  • Bryan and Tyler like the book, perhaps because for them the point of diminishing returns to this sort of cleverness is much farther away on the horizon.

    I am Not as Turned On, Arnold Kling | EconLog | Library of Economics and Liberty 2009

  • It has a certain cleverness to it, and it's visually magnificent in places (though some of the action is so frenetic that it's easy to lose track.)

    Answers in a drop of blood txtriffidranch 2008

  • Even in law school, perhaps the place more than any other where sheer cleverness is prized and love of argument for its own sake is fundamental to the culture, he was not much interested in academic jousting.

    Getting to Know Him 2007

  • Instead, cleverness is a honed skill that takes time, dedication and above all, a commitment to cultivate an appreciation for not only doing the least amount of work possible, but also the ability to pick the least amount of work possible that will also afford the most leverage in actually solving the problem.

    The Fried Henderson and the value of being clever | FactoryCity 2007

  • A New Spirit of Shanzai Once a term used to suggest something cheap or inferior, "shanzhai" now suggests to many a certain Chinese cleverness and ingenuity.

    Amateur Knock-Off Video of China's New Year Gala Stumbles 2009


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