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SAT vocabulary: wily

Wile E. Coyote
The wily Wile E. Coyote

What does wily mean? Read below for the definition.

Quick vocab quiz for the word wily

First, before you read about the word wily, try this quick vocab quiz:

wily most nearly means

(A) sly (B) slippery (C) slovenly (D) sleepy (E) slick

Write your answer down, or just store it in that razor-sharp mind of yours. (If you can’t wait, the answer is below.)

Now let’s learn about the word wily.

Part of Speech of wily

wily is an ADJECTIVE.

Pronunciation wily

Here’s how to pronounce wily:

IPA: /ˈwaɪ.li/

Glossary-style: [WY-lee]

Definition of wily

wily means: able to deceive skillfully or cleverly; sneaky (Ex: a wily businessman).

Explain more about wily, please

wily basically means sneaky, tricky, clever, etc. If someone is wily, then you need to be careful with him lest he take advantage of you in some way.

The word wily definitely has negative connotations, so the word would be more likely to describe someone engaging in unethical behavior than ethical.

Of course, many of us cannot think of the word wily without thinking of Wile E. Coyote, the arch nemesis of the Road Runner, from the Looney Toons animated cartoon from Warner Bros.

Example of wily

Here’s the word wily used in a sentence:

The wily con artist was able to deceive people for decades before finally being outed as a cheat.

If you’ve read this far, you’re a great student and will learn vocabulary quickly. You may now check your answer.

Answer to the quick vocab quiz

Answer Click Here to Show the Answer!

By Erin Billy

Founder of TestMagic, Inc. in San Francisco, USA.

2 replies on “SAT vocabulary: wily”

You can check the answer if you like, but wily doesn’t mean slippery, at least in its literal sense. (Sometimes people do use the word slippery to describe wily people, but that’s more colloquial than formal.)

Try again?

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