top of page



How to pronounce guile (audio)


Monster Trucks in Space

Download your free e-book. Promotion ends tomorrow.

Dictionary definition of guile

The quality of being crafty, cunning, or artful in deception or manipulation.
"The detective was impressed by the thief's guile and ability to evade capture."

Detailed meaning of guile

It is a subtle, clever or tricky behavior that is intended to deceive or outwit someone. Someone with guile is often seen as having the ability to manipulate or deceive others for their own gain, and might be able to hide their true intentions or motives.

For example, a person who is full of guile might be able to trick others into giving them what they want, through subtle or devious means. A person who uses guile to achieve their goals might be able to deceive others with false promises or flattery, or manipulate situations to their advantage.

In general, the term "guile" carries a negative connotation and is often used to describe a person or behavior that is crafty, cunning, or artful in deception or manipulation, often used in a negative way.

Example sentences containing guile

1. He used guile and deception to win the game.
2. The politician was known for her guile and ability to manipulate the media.
3. The con artist relied on guile and charm to convince his victims to part with their money.
4. She used guile and cunning to outmaneuver her opponents.
5. He was accused of using guile and trickery to win the election.
6. The fox's guile helped it to escape from the hunters.

History and etymology of guile

The noun 'guile' has its etymological origins in the Old French word 'guile,' which is believed to have been derived from the Latin word 'villainus,' meaning 'villainous' or 'deceitful.' Over time, 'guile' evolved to signify the quality of being crafty, cunning, or artful in deception or manipulation. Its etymology reflects the idea of deceitful and cunning behavior, often associated with individuals who employ clever tricks or artful strategies to achieve their goals, sometimes at the expense of others. 'Guile' underscores the notion of skillful deception, highlighting the use of cunning and deceit in a subtle and strategic manner.

Quiz: Find the meaning of guile

Try Again!


Further usage examples of guile

1. The negotiator used guile and subtlety to reach a compromise.
2. The salesman's guile was legendary, and he was known for being able to sell ice to Eskimos.
3. She was praised for her guile and quick thinking in avoiding the danger.
4. The spy used guile and disguise to gather intelligence.
5. He was admired for his guile and ability to outsmart his opponents.
6. His guile, combined with his strategic brilliance, led to the downfall of his opponents in the corporate world.
7. She possessed a keen ability to see through his web of guile, making it difficult for him to manipulate her.
8. Guile, often associated with cunning and deceit, is a trait favored by those who seek to achieve their goals through manipulation.
9. Detecting guile in others requires keen insight and a healthy dose of skepticism.
10. His guile in negotiations, characterized by subtle tactics and clever maneuvering, was legendary in the business community.
11. Guile, the art of crafty deception, is a tool often employed by those with less-than-honorable intentions.
12. Unmasking their guile and revealing their true motives proved to be a challenging task for the investigative team.
13. Guile lurked behind his charming smile, making it difficult for others to see his true intentions.
14. Guile in politics is a commonplace occurrence, as politicians often use cunning strategies to gain power and influence.
15. Their guile, which had allowed them to operate in the shadows for so long, was eventually exposed, leading to their downfall.
16. Guile, when used recklessly, can undermine trust and credibility quickly, leaving a trail of broken relationships.
17. The spy operated with cunning guile, successfully infiltrating enemy lines and gathering critical intelligence.
18. Guile is often used for personal gain, with individuals resorting to crafty tactics to achieve their desires.
19. Guile can be a double-edged sword, as it may lead to short-term success but ultimately erode one's reputation.
20. His guile, combined with his ability to adapt to changing circumstances, caught many opponents off guard.
21. Guile is the hallmark of manipulation, as it involves using clever and often deceptive tactics to achieve one's objectives.
22. Guile, when masked by charisma and charm, can be mistaken for wisdom or leadership.
23. Her guile, a hidden resource in her toolkit, consistently got her what she wanted in her career.
24. The depth of his guile, which extended beyond what most people could fathom, surprised even his closest associates.
25. Guile, while a tool of the unscrupulous, can also be employed for noble purposes when used ethically and responsibly.



cunning, honesty, straightforwardness, sincerity


Artifice and Falseness, Behavior and Conduct, Clandestine and Conniving, Duplicity and Deceit, Manipulation and Deception, Middle School 2, Dishonesty and Concealment

bottom of page