- Dexterous in performing an action, so as to escape notice; nimble; skillful; cautious; shrewd; knowing; -- in a good sense."Be ye sly as serpents, and simple as doves." [Wyclif (Matt. x. 16).]"Whom graver age And long experience hath made wise and sly." [Fairfax.]
- Artfully cunning; secretly mischievous; wily."For my sly wiles and subtle craftiness, The litle of the kingdom I possess." [Spenser.]
- Done with, and marked by, artful and dexterous secrecy; subtle; as, a sly trick."Envy works in a sly and imperceptible manner." [I. Watts.]
- Light or delicate; slight; thin.(Obs)synonyms: Cunning; crafty; subtile; wily. See Cunning.
Etymology: OE. sli slegh sleih, Icel. sl�gr, for sl�gr; akin to Sw. slug, Dan. slu, LG. slou, G. schlau; probably to E. slay, v.t.; cf. G. verschlagen sly. See Slay (v. t.), and cf. Sleight