|Origin:||Probably from a Scandinavian language|
1 especially British English
able to learn and understand things quickly [= intelligent; = smart AmE]
a clever man
very/extremely/quite/pretty etc clever
Lucy is quite clever and does well at school.
able to use your intelligence to get what you want, especially in a slightly dishonest way:
a clever lawyer's tricks
3 especially British English
skilful at doing a particular thing:
Bill's very clever with his hands.
his clever ball control
clever at doing something
He was clever at finding bargains.
done or made in an unusual or interesting way that is very effective:
What a clever little gadget!
a clever marketing strategy
5 British English spoken
used jokingly when someone has done something silly or stupid:
'When I got to the library I found I'd left the books at home.' 'That was clever!'
6 British English spoken
used to describe someone who is annoying because they are always right or always think they are right
7 British English spoken
to be clever, and to show that you are clever in a way that annoys other people
—cleverness noun [uncountable]WORD FOCUS: intelligent
similar words: clever especially BrE/smart especially AmE good at learning or understanding things quickly
bright intelligent - used especially about young people
brilliant a brilliant scientist, writer, student, historian etc is extremely intelligent and does very good work
brainy informal very intelligent and good at studying
gifted a gifted child is extremely intelligent
wise a wise person has a lot of experience and knowledge, and can give good advice
cunning/crafty good at using your intelligence to trick people
intelligent people: genius someone who is extremely intelligent and has great ideas
intellectual someone who is well-educated and interested in art, science, or literature at a high level
intelligentsia a country's intellectuals, considered as a single group
➔ See also intelligent