from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • n. Treacherous cunning; skillful deceit.
  • n. Obsolete A trick or stratagem.
  • transitive v. Archaic To beguile; deceive.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. astuteness often marked by a certain sense of cunning or artful deception.
  • n. deceptiveness, deceit, fraud, duplicity, dishonesty
  • v. to deceive, to beguile

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. Craft; deceitful cunning; artifice; duplicity; wile; deceit; treachery.
  • transitive v. To disguise or conceal; to deceive or delude.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • To deceive; beguile.
  • To disguise cunningly.
  • n. Disposition to deceive or cheat; insidious artifice; craft; cunning.
  • n. A trick; a wile.
  • n. Synonyms Artfulness, subtlety, deception, trickery.
  • n. The fermented wort used by vinegar-makers.
  • n. A brewers' vat; a guilfat.

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

  • n. the use of tricks to deceive someone (usually to extract money from them)
  • n. shrewdness as demonstrated by being skilled in deception
  • n. the quality of being crafty


Middle English, from Old French, of Germanic origin; akin to Old English wigle, divination, sorcery.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
From Middle English gile, from Anglo-Norman gile, from Old French guile ("deception"), from Frankish *wigila ("ruse"). Cognate via Proto-Germanic with wile. (Wiktionary)



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