Roget's 21st Century Thesaurus, Third Edition Copyright © 2013 by the Philip Lief Group.

EXAMPLES FROM THE WEB FOR CLEVERNESS

Often enough these innovations were not due to the cleverness of man's brain.

After all, Mary was only a woman, despite her cleverness, and with all a woman's timidity.

"That's just where your cleverness will come in," suavely answered Crane.

And by Jupiter, with a kind of cleverness in him too that would astonish you!'

This woman enjoyed the same sort of exultation in her own cleverness.

He felt that he was apart because he was clever, as if his cleverness caused loneliness.

It's only your ignorance and your jealousy of his cleverness.

Then he talked for half an hour about the cleverness of Mrs. Carriswood.

And is not shrewdness a quickness or cleverness of the soul, and not a quietness?

Is it a sagacity or cleverness, a height of learning, a result of close study?

WORD ORIGIN

1580s, "handy, dexterous," apparently from East Anglian dialectal cliver "expert at seizing," perhaps from East Frisian klüfer "skillful," or Norwegian dialectic klover "ready, skillful," and perhaps influenced by Old English clifer "claw, hand" (early usages seem to refer to dexterity). Or perhaps akin to Old Norse kleyfr "easy to split" and from a root related to cleave "to split." Extension to intellect is first recorded 1704.

The meaning has narrowed since, but clever also often in old use and dialect meant "well-shaped, attractive-looking" and in 19c. American English sometimes "good-natured, agreeable." Related: Cleverly; cleverness.

MORE RELATED WORDS FOR CLEVERNESS

Roget's 21st Century Thesaurus, Third Edition Copyright © 2013 by the Philip Lief Group.