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

  • n. A stratagem or trick intended to deceive or ensnare.
  • n. A disarming or seductive manner, device, or procedure: the wiles of a skilled negotiator.
  • n. Trickery; cunning.
  • transitive v. To influence or lead by means of wiles; entice.
  • transitive v. To pass (time) agreeably: wile away a Sunday afternoon.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. A trick or stratagem practiced for ensnaring or deception; a sly, insidious artifice
  • v. To entice or lure
  • v. Alternative spelling of while, "to pass the time".

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. A trick or stratagem practiced for insnaring or deception; a sly, insidious; artifice; a beguilement; an allurement.
  • transitive v. To practice artifice upon; to deceive; to beguile; to allure.
  • transitive v. To draw or turn away, as by diversion; to while or while away; to cause to pass pleasantly.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • To deceive; beguile; impose on.
  • To lure; entice; inveigle; coax; cajole.
  • To shorten or cause to pass easily or pleasantly, as by some diverting wile: in this sense probably confused with while.
  • n. A trick or stratagem; anything practised for insnaring or deception; a sly, insidious artifice.
  • n. Synonyms Manœuver, Stratagem, etc. See artifice.
  • n. A Middle English form of while.
  • n. Same as wild, Weald (?).

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)


Middle English wil, from Old North French, from Old Norse vēl, trick, or of Low German origin.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
From Middle English wile, wyle, from Old English wīl ("wile, trick") and wiġle ("divination"), from Proto-Germanic *wīlan (“craft, deceit”) (from Proto-Indo-European *wei- (“to turn, bend”)) and Proto-Germanic *wigulan, *wihulan (“prophecy”) (from Proto-Indo-European *weik- (“to consecrate, hallow, make holy”)). Cognate with Icelandic vél, væl ("artifice, craft, device, fraud, trick"). (Wiktionary)


  •   I see the only way I'm going to get through this is to do what I used to call the wile-aways.

    And We Sell Apples 1977

  • I see the only way I'm going to get through this is to do what I used to call the wile-aways.

    And We Sell Apples 1977

  • As for the song itself, when it gets going (i.e. after a warm-up of thirty of your seconds that I feel are unnecessarily long and thirty-secondish), it is very, very pleasant indeed, even though I do not know what 'wile' means.

    Drowned In Sound // Feed

  • Den he tuhn on me lak a wile man an’ his eyes glitter an’ he say: ‘Good Gawd, Ah thought you’d unnerstan’ even ef nobody else din’!

    Gone with the Wind

  • And in that time, in a large cage of concrete and iron, Ben Bolt had exercised and recovered the use of his muscles, and added to his hatred of the two-legged things, puny against him in themselves, who by trick and wile had so helplessly imprisoned him.


  • Because i was doing ki exercise with my hands to open the Ki channels in my hands, we were going to do a meditation and healing exercise before the techniques that he was going to teach. based on what he learned wile being in the War, he was afraid that he would be humiliated by me because my knowledge base some how threatened him.

    Dr Gyi

  • I myself has been trying to solve the mystery of the legend that forces you to have “earn it before having it”, for a wile now.

    Why Do We Keep Reading Mystery Series That Are Running Out of Gas? Maureen Corrigan on Robert B. Parker’s ‘Spenser’ Novels « One-Minute Book Reviews

  • RTC, o god yes im not the best tempered person you will meet thas for sure, but point being the cop should get done as my m8 was, you cant scream and swear then say im a cop and under stress lets swop jobs for a wile the law is the law.

    Police Use Naughty Word *SHOCK* « POLICE INSPECTOR BLOG

  • Abrams and his ilk … bipartisan Mouths of Sauron … and the “conservatives” and POLITICAL Zionists continue the charade. .and opponents of the pas de duex, like a LOT of posters here and on similar sites, continue to joust windmills that are diversionary tangents and, Thoreau-ian like “hack at branches” wile blitheyly and VOLITIONALLY Ignoring the ROOT (CFR/globalist socialists) …

    Abrams Confirms His New Role « Blog

  • Certainly their antagonists start out with unassailable resources and firepower, but righting that asymmetry by guile and wile is what really moves these movies.

    Colmbiana proves that Luc Besson has a type … women with big guns


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  • Webster via OneLook gives permissible verbal usage:

    Wile, v. t.

    1. To practice artifice upon; to deceive; to beguile; to allure. R. Spenser.

    2. To draw or turn away, as by diversion; to while or while away; to cause to pass pleasantly. Tennyson.

    April 10, 2009

  • Sionnach, you didn't try "manly w." ;)

    And I kind of resent, also, the claim that using sexual charm to get what one wants applies more to women than to men. Especially since men are expected to be seducers, as if it's part of masculine nature (just as insulting in its own way), so that when women use the same techniques they are branded with a less-than-savory name.

    Then again, isn't that always the way...
    Signed, Wile E. Bear

    April 10, 2009

  • "Put on the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil."
    – Ephesians 6:11 (KJV)

    The Contemporary English Version (1999) renders this verse as follows:
    "Put on all the armor that God gives, so you can defend yourself against the devil's tricks."

    I prefer "wiles"; it's so much wilier.

    April 10, 2009

  • Well, I tried the old trusty google-off method, only to find myself foiled by the apparently rampant inability to spell. When I had typed as far as "feminine w" into google, it came back with its little helpful suggestion box, which offered the following hit numbers:

    wiles: 114K
    wipes: 129K
    whiles: 13.3 million

    masculine wiles: 36.1K
    masculine whiles: 5.0 million
    masculine window treatments 52K
    masculine wife: 2.4 million

    But there is some modest indication that women are wilier, oops - I obviously mean whilier - than men.

    April 10, 2009

  • Any evidence for your claim?

    April 10, 2009

  • the verb: making someone do what you want want using subtle or invisible methods (such as sexual charm). usually an action done by women to men.

    April 10, 2009