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

  • adj. Having, displaying, or suggestive of deceitful character; evasive or untrustworthy.
  • adj. Distinguished by frequent changes in direction: shifty winds.
  • adj. Able to accomplish what is needed; resourceful.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • adj. Having the appearance of someone dishonest, criminal or unreliable; such as someone with shifty eyes.
  • adj. Subject to frequent changes in direction.
  • adj. Full of, or ready with, shifts or expedients.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • adj. Full of, or ready with, shifts; fertile in expedients or contrivance.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • Changeable; changeful; shifting; fickle; wavering: as, shifty principles.
  • Full of shifts; fertile in expedients; well able to shift for one's self.
  • Given to or characterized by shifts, tricks, or artifices; fertile in dodges or evasions; tricky.

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

  • adj. changing position or direction
  • adj. characterized by insincerity or deceit; evasive


Sorry, no etymologies found.


  • This makes explicit what was part of the subtext of my essay: Even Microsoft doesn't do this kind of shifty crap anymore, if they can help it.

    Anil Dash

  • And he looked kind of shifty when I turned up with my Other Half, Andy, in tow.

    All Roads Lead To ...

  • The GOP is now proving that despite their former warnings of doom (when THAT suited their purposes), they now embrace this "shifty" legal strategy as an effective way of illegitimately preventing a Senator from the opposing party from taking office at all.

    Minnesota Supremes Reject Coleman Lawsuit, Clearing Way For Franken Win Later Today

  • Sort of like the scene early in the movie where everyone's young and idealistic and swears they'll never abandon their liberal principles, then one of them gets kind of shifty-eyed . . .

    When Legends Gather #546

  • Lets face it being a dealer is a kind of shifty profession.

    New Car

  • It's sort of like arguing that forming the Coalition to begin with was undemocratic: it wasn't; it was just kind of shifty, like the proroguing, arguably depending who you're cheering for was.

    I love being right about everything all the time.

  • To all thoseRay 'shifty' saying: "Let the consumer decide"

    Has Blu-ray won the HD format war? | Sync Blog

  • Nevertheless, Cameron's performance evoked from The Telegraph the headline, "Cameron attacks 'shifty' Brown over EU treaty", with an equally robust headline from The Daily Express.

    This issue is not going to go away

  • Becket, though many a time exciting the displeasure of both contestants, and often since denounced as "shifty", was the strategy of an able commander who, by marches and countermarches succeeds in keeping the field against overwhelming odds.

    The Catholic Encyclopedia, Volume 1: Aachen-Assize

  • The first thing I knows he comes over to me, his jaw set firmer'n I ever see it shut before, and a kind of shifty look in his eyes.



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