- clever [klev′ər]adj.[ME cliver, prob. < EFris klüfer or Norw dial klöver, ready, skillful; ? infl. by OE clifer, claw, hand, in the sense, “adroit with the hand”: for the latter sense development, see ADROIT, DEXTEROUS]1. skillful in doing something; adroit; dexterous2. quick in thinking or learning; intelligent, ingenious, quick-witted, witty, facile, etc.3. showing ingenuity or quick, sometimes superficial, intelligence [a clever book]4. Dial.a) amiable; good-naturedb) handsome, convenient, nice, etc.SYN.- INTELLIGENTcleverlyadv.clevernessn.SYN.- CLEVER, in this comparison, implies quick-wittedness or adroitness, as in contriving the solution to a problem [a clever reply ]; CUNNING suggests great skill or ingenuity, but often implies deception or craftiness [cunning as a fox ]; INGENIOUS stresses inventive skill, as in origination or fabrication [an ingenious explanation ]; SHREWD suggests cleverness accompanied by practicality [a shrewd understanding of the situation ], sometimes verging on craftiness [a shrewd politician ]
English World dictionary. V. Neufeldt. 2014.