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

EXAMPLES FROM THE WEB FOR SLY

"Let them sleep in the bed of honor," said the Princess Medea, with a sly smile at Jason.

The sly, wicked Mimi came slinking to the place where the dragon lay.

I know her sly manner of feeling her way with those gloves of hers.

The faces seemed to have but one smile, conscious, sly, a little alarmed.

But I had only to open my lips to speak, and away she would run, with a sly smile.

You have to visit your disreputable cousin on the sly, have you?

All the sly blabbing, all the vague chatter of sacristies resounded in his ears.

What a sly devil I was to stow that treasure away for a rainy day!

“Yes; the same hands,” with a sly smile at his own private joke.

Crawford had written that this photograph, too, had been taken on the sly.

WORD ORIGIN

c.1200, "skillful, clever, dexterous," from Old Norse sloegr "cunning, crafty, sly," from Proto-Germanic *slogis (cf. Low German slu "cunning, sly," German schlau), probably from base *slak- "to strike, hit" (see slay (v.)), with an original notion of "able to hit." Cf. German verschlagen "cunning, crafty, sly," schlagfertig "quick-witted," literally "strike-ready," from schlagen "to strike." A non-pejorative use of the word lingered in northern English dialect until 20c. On the sly "in secret" is recorded from 1812. Sly-boots "a seeming Silly, but subtil Fellow" is in the 1700 "Dictionary of the Canting Crew."

MORE RELATED WORDS FOR SLY

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