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From art (“skill that is attained by study, practice, or observation”) + -ful (suffix forming adjectives from nouns, with the sense of being full of, tending to, or thoroughly possessing the quality expressed by the noun).
- (General American) IPA(key): /ˈɑːtf(ʊ)l/
Audio (Southern England) (file)
- (General American) IPA(key): /ˈɑɹtf(ə)l/
- Hyphenation: art‧ful
- Characterized by, or performed with, cleverness or contrivance; clever, ingenious.
- 1613 (indicated as 1612), George Wither, “Epithalamion”, in Epithalamia: or, Nuptiall Poems upon the Most Blessed and Happie Mariage betweene the High and Mightie Prince Frederick the Fifth, Count Palatine of the Rhein, Duke of Bauier, &c., And the Most Vertuous, Gracious and Thrice Excellent Princesse, Elizabeth, Sole Daughter to Our Dread Soueraigne, Iames by the Grace of God King of Great Britaine, France and Ireland, Defender of the Faith, &c.; Celebrated at White-Hall the Fourteenth of Februarie, 1613, London: […] [F. Kingston] for Edward Marchant, […], OCLC 83409649:
- The nights ſtrange proſpects, made to feede the eyes; / With Artfull fyres, mounted in the skies: / Graced with horred claps of ſulphury thunders; / May make your mind, Iehouahs greater wonders.
- 1843, John Stuart Mill, “The Same Subject Continued [Of Demonstration, and Necessary Truths]”, in A System of Logic, Ratiocinative and Inductive, being a Connected View of the Principles of Evidence, and the Methods of Scientific Investigation. […], volume I, London: John W[illiam] Parker, […], OCLC 156109929, § 2, page 331:
- The doctrine that we can discover facts, detect the hidden processes of nature, by an artful manipulation of language, is so contrary to common sense, that a person must have made some advances in philosophy to believe it; […]
- Not naturally produced; artificial; imitative.
- 1609, Tho[mas] Heywood, “Canto. 8.”, in Troia Britanica: Or, Great Britaines Troy […], London: […] W[illiam] Iaggard, OCLC 1156449080, page 173; republished in Early English Books Online, Ann Arbor, Mich.: Text Creation Partnership, 2011:
- Some of this Artfull coulour now I want, / Which from the Muses I desire to borrow, / In Melancholly Priam to dispaint / The perfect Image and true face of Sorrow, […]
- 1847, R[alph] W[aldo] Emerson, “Merlin. I.”, in Poems, Boston, Mass.: James Munroe and Company, OCLC 625986, pages 180–181:
- The kingly bard / Must smite the chords rudely and hard, / As with hammer or with mace; / That they may render back / Artful thunder, which conveys / Secrets of the solar track, / Sparks of the supersolar blaze.
- Exhibiting or using much art or skill; dexterous; skilful.
- Synonym: adroit
- 1605 (first performance), Benjamin Jonson [i.e., Ben Jonson], “Volpone, or The Foxe. A Comœdie. […]”, in The Workes of Ben Jonson (First Folio), London: […] Will[iam] Stansby, published 1616, OCLC 960101342, Act III, scene vii, page 490:
- [W]e, in changed ſhapes, act Ovid's tales, / […] / Then vvill I haue thee in more moderne formes, / Attired like ſome ſprightly dame of France, / Braue Tuſcan lady, or proud Spaniſh beauty; / Sometimes, vnto the Perſian Sophies vvife; / Or the grand-Signiors miſtreſſe; and, for change, / To one of our moſt art-full courtizans, […]
- 1608, [Guillaume de Salluste Du Bartas], “[Du Bartas His First VVeek, or Birth of the VVorld: […].] The Sixt Daie of the First VVeek.”, in Josuah Sylvester, transl., Du Bartas His Deuine Weekes and Workes […], 3rd edition, London: […] Humfrey Lownes [and are to be sold by Arthur Iohnson […]], published 1611, OCLC 1181680849, page 149:
- VVhat ſtrength of arm, or Art-full ſtratagem, / From Nile’s fell Rover could deliver them, / VVho runs, and rovves, vvarring by Land and VVater / 'Gainſt Men and Fiſhes, ſubiect to his ſlaughter?
- 1634 October 9 (first performance), [John Milton], H[enry] Lawes, editor, A Maske Presented at Ludlow Castle, 1634: […] [Comus], London: […] [Augustine Matthews] for Hvmphrey Robinson, […], published 1637, OCLC 228715864; reprinted as Comus: […] (Dodd, Mead & Company’s Facsimile Reprints of Rare Books; Literature Series; no. I), New York, N.Y.: Dodd, Mead & Company, 1903, OCLC 1113942837, page 17:
- Spir[it]. VVhat voice is that, my yong Lord? ſpeak agen. […] Eld[er] bro[ther]. Thyrſis? vvhoſe artfull ſtrains have oft delayed / The huddling brook to heare his madrigale, / And ſvveeten'd every muskroſe of the dale, […]
- 1718, Homer; [Alexander] Pope, transl., “Book XIV”, in The Iliad of Homer, volume IV, London: […] W[illiam] Bowyer, for Bernard Lintott […], OCLC 670734254, lines 204–206, page 102:
- Her artful Hands the radiant Treſſes ty'd; / Part on her Head in ſhining Ringlets roll'd, / Part o'er her Shoulders vvav'd like melted Gold.
- 1841 February–November, Charles Dickens, “Barnaby Rudge”, in Master Humphrey’s Clock, volume III, London: Chapman & Hall, […], OCLC 633494058, chapter 74, page 371:
- His warming on this topic, which to one unacquainted with his pursuits and tastes appeared like courage; together with his artful suppression of his own secret hopes, and mention of himself as being in the same condition with Hugh; did more to soothe that ruffian than the most elaborate arguments could have done, or the most abject submission.
- 1906 April, O. Henry [pseudonym; William Sydney Porter], “After Twenty Years”, in The Four Million, New York, N.Y.: McClure, Phillips & Co, OCLC 1399985, page 214:
- The policeman on the beat moved up the avenue impressively. […] Trying doors as he went, twirling his club with many intricate and artful movements, turning now and then to cast his watchful eye adown the pacific thoroughfare, the officer, with his stalwart form and slight swagger, made a fine picture of a guardian of the peace.
- (especially) Skilful at using dishonest or unfair means to achieve a purpose; crafty, cunning.
- 1843 December 19, Charles Dickens, “Stave Three. The Second of the Three Spirits.”, in A Christmas Carol. In Prose. Being a Ghost Story of Christmas, London: Chapman & Hall, […], OCLC 55746801, pages 100–101:
- Here, again, were shadows on the window-blind of guests assembling; and there a group of handsome girls, all hooded and fur-booted, and all chattering at once, tripped lightly off to some near neighbour's house; where, wo upon the single man who saw them enter—artful witches: well they knew it—in a glow!
- 1864 May – 1865 November, Charles Dickens, “The Golden Dustman at His Worst”, in Our Mutual Friend. […], volume II, London: Chapman and Hall, […], published 1865, OCLC 1016551263, book the third (A Long Lane), page 134:
- "Now, this is a very artful dog," said Mr. Boffin, with a deep look. "This is a longer-headed schemer than I thought him.["]
- 1904 November, O. Henry [pseudonym; William Sydney Porter], “The Remnants of the Code”, in Cabbages and Kings, New York, N.Y.: McClure, Phillips & Co., page 212:
- But now he was little more than a whimpering oyster led to be devoured on the sands of a Southern sea by the artful walrus, Circumstance, and the implacable carpenter, Fate.
- 2012 June 29, Kevin Mitchell, “Roger Federer back from Wimbledon 2012 brink to beat Julien Benneteau”, in Alan Rusbridger, editor, The Guardian, London: Guardian News & Media, ISSN 0261-3077, OCLC 229952407, archived from the original on 15 November 2016:
- Where the Czech upstart [Lukáš] Rosol, ranked 100 in the world, all but blew [Rafael] Nadal's head off with his blunderbuss in a fifth set of unrivalled intensity on Thursday night, [Julien] Benneteau, a more artful citizen, used a rapier to hurt his vaunted foe before falling just short of a kill. In the end, it was he who staggered from the scene of the fight.
- (obsolete) Knowledgeable about the liberal arts; learned, wise.
- artfull (obsolete)
characterized by, or performed with, cleverness or contrivance — see ingenious
not naturally produced — see artificial
skilful at using dishonest or unfair means to achieve a purpose — See also translations at crafty, cunning
- The translations below need to be checked and inserted above into the appropriate translation tables. See instructions at Wiktionary:Entry layout § Translations.
Translations to be checked