Skip to main content
Select Source:

clever

clev·er / ˈklevər/ • adj. (clev·er·er , clev·er·est ) quick to understand, learn, and devise or apply ideas; intelligent. ∎  skilled at doing or achieving something; talented: she is clever with her hands. ∎  (of a thing, action, or idea) showing intelligence or skill; ingenious. ∎  superficially ingenious or witty: a story too clever to be real. ∎ dated inf. sensible; well-advised: it wasn't too clever, leaving Dolly alone. DERIVATIVES: clev·er·ly adv. clev·er·ness n. ORIGIN: Middle English (in the sense ‘quick to catch hold,’ only recorded in this period): perhaps of Dutch or Low German origin, and related to cleave2 . In the late 16th cent. the term came to mean (probably through dialect use) ‘manually skillful’; the sense ‘possessing mental agility’ dates from the early 18th cent.

Cite this article
Pick a style below, and copy the text for your bibliography.

  • MLA
  • Chicago
  • APA

"clever." The Oxford Pocket Dictionary of Current English. . Encyclopedia.com. 17 Aug. 2018 <http://www.encyclopedia.com>.

"clever." The Oxford Pocket Dictionary of Current English. . Encyclopedia.com. (August 17, 2018). http://www.encyclopedia.com/humanities/dictionaries-thesauruses-pictures-and-press-releases/clever-0

"clever." The Oxford Pocket Dictionary of Current English. . Retrieved August 17, 2018 from Encyclopedia.com: http://www.encyclopedia.com/humanities/dictionaries-thesauruses-pictures-and-press-releases/clever-0

Learn more about citation styles

Citation styles

Encyclopedia.com gives you the ability to cite reference entries and articles according to common styles from the Modern Language Association (MLA), The Chicago Manual of Style, and the American Psychological Association (APA).

Within the “Cite this article” tool, pick a style to see how all available information looks when formatted according to that style. Then, copy and paste the text into your bibliography or works cited list.

Because each style has its own formatting nuances that evolve over time and not all information is available for every reference entry or article, Encyclopedia.com cannot guarantee each citation it generates. Therefore, it’s best to use Encyclopedia.com citations as a starting point before checking the style against your school or publication’s requirements and the most-recent information available at these sites:

Modern Language Association

http://www.mla.org/style

The Chicago Manual of Style

http://www.chicagomanualofstyle.org/tools_citationguide.html

American Psychological Association

http://apastyle.apa.org/

Notes:
  • Most online reference entries and articles do not have page numbers. Therefore, that information is unavailable for most Encyclopedia.com content. However, the date of retrieval is often important. Refer to each style’s convention regarding the best way to format page numbers and retrieval dates.
  • In addition to the MLA, Chicago, and APA styles, your school, university, publication, or institution may have its own requirements for citations. Therefore, be sure to refer to those guidelines when editing your bibliography or works cited list.

clever

clever adroit, dexterous (XIII?) XVI; (dial.) nimble, active; lithe, handsome XVII; (dial.) convenient, agreeable, nice XVIII. The context of the earliest ex. (in the form cliuer) suggests etym. connection with †cliver claw, as if ‘sharp to seize’; rare Sc. cleverous apt to seize, similarly assoc. with cluik claw, precedes the earliest ex. of clever in the mod. period. Cf. LG. klöver, klever, MDu. klever sprightly, smart.

Cite this article
Pick a style below, and copy the text for your bibliography.

  • MLA
  • Chicago
  • APA

"clever." The Concise Oxford Dictionary of English Etymology. . Encyclopedia.com. 17 Aug. 2018 <http://www.encyclopedia.com>.

"clever." The Concise Oxford Dictionary of English Etymology. . Encyclopedia.com. (August 17, 2018). http://www.encyclopedia.com/humanities/dictionaries-thesauruses-pictures-and-press-releases/clever-1

"clever." The Concise Oxford Dictionary of English Etymology. . Retrieved August 17, 2018 from Encyclopedia.com: http://www.encyclopedia.com/humanities/dictionaries-thesauruses-pictures-and-press-releases/clever-1

Learn more about citation styles

Citation styles

Encyclopedia.com gives you the ability to cite reference entries and articles according to common styles from the Modern Language Association (MLA), The Chicago Manual of Style, and the American Psychological Association (APA).

Within the “Cite this article” tool, pick a style to see how all available information looks when formatted according to that style. Then, copy and paste the text into your bibliography or works cited list.

Because each style has its own formatting nuances that evolve over time and not all information is available for every reference entry or article, Encyclopedia.com cannot guarantee each citation it generates. Therefore, it’s best to use Encyclopedia.com citations as a starting point before checking the style against your school or publication’s requirements and the most-recent information available at these sites:

Modern Language Association

http://www.mla.org/style

The Chicago Manual of Style

http://www.chicagomanualofstyle.org/tools_citationguide.html

American Psychological Association

http://apastyle.apa.org/

Notes:
  • Most online reference entries and articles do not have page numbers. Therefore, that information is unavailable for most Encyclopedia.com content. However, the date of retrieval is often important. Refer to each style’s convention regarding the best way to format page numbers and retrieval dates.
  • In addition to the MLA, Chicago, and APA styles, your school, university, publication, or institution may have its own requirements for citations. Therefore, be sure to refer to those guidelines when editing your bibliography or works cited list.

clever

clevercadaver, slaver •halva, salver, salvor •balaclava, Bratislava, carver, cassava, Costa Brava, guava, Java, kava, larva, lava, palaver •woodcarver •clever, endeavour (US endeavor), ever, forever, however, howsoever, never, never-never, sever, Trevor, whatever, whatsoever, whenever, whensoever, wheresoever, wherever, whichever, whichsoever, whoever, whomever, whomsoever, whosoever •delver, elver •Denver •Ava, caver, craver, deva, engraver, enslaver, favour (US favor), flavour (US flavor), graver, haver, laver, paver, quaver, raver, saver, savour (US savor), shaver, vena cava, waiver, waver •lifesaver • semiquaver •achiever, beaver, believer, cleaver, deceiver, diva, Eva, fever, Geneva, griever, heaver, leaver, lever, Neva, perceiver, receiver, reiver, reliever, retriever, Shiva, underachiever, viva, weaver, weever •cantilever

Cite this article
Pick a style below, and copy the text for your bibliography.

  • MLA
  • Chicago
  • APA

"clever." Oxford Dictionary of Rhymes. . Encyclopedia.com. 17 Aug. 2018 <http://www.encyclopedia.com>.

"clever." Oxford Dictionary of Rhymes. . Encyclopedia.com. (August 17, 2018). http://www.encyclopedia.com/humanities/dictionaries-thesauruses-pictures-and-press-releases/clever

"clever." Oxford Dictionary of Rhymes. . Retrieved August 17, 2018 from Encyclopedia.com: http://www.encyclopedia.com/humanities/dictionaries-thesauruses-pictures-and-press-releases/clever

Learn more about citation styles

Citation styles

Encyclopedia.com gives you the ability to cite reference entries and articles according to common styles from the Modern Language Association (MLA), The Chicago Manual of Style, and the American Psychological Association (APA).

Within the “Cite this article” tool, pick a style to see how all available information looks when formatted according to that style. Then, copy and paste the text into your bibliography or works cited list.

Because each style has its own formatting nuances that evolve over time and not all information is available for every reference entry or article, Encyclopedia.com cannot guarantee each citation it generates. Therefore, it’s best to use Encyclopedia.com citations as a starting point before checking the style against your school or publication’s requirements and the most-recent information available at these sites:

Modern Language Association

http://www.mla.org/style

The Chicago Manual of Style

http://www.chicagomanualofstyle.org/tools_citationguide.html

American Psychological Association

http://apastyle.apa.org/

Notes:
  • Most online reference entries and articles do not have page numbers. Therefore, that information is unavailable for most Encyclopedia.com content. However, the date of retrieval is often important. Refer to each style’s convention regarding the best way to format page numbers and retrieval dates.
  • In addition to the MLA, Chicago, and APA styles, your school, university, publication, or institution may have its own requirements for citations. Therefore, be sure to refer to those guidelines when editing your bibliography or works cited list.