adj. clev·er·er, clev·er·est
a. Mentally quick and original; bright: a clever student.
b. Skilled at accomplishing things, especially with the hands: a clever carpenter.
c. Crafty; cunning: "a hard-working kid who rose from poverty, only to be duped by rich, clever bankers" (Jeff Goodell).
a. Exhibiting ingenuity or imagination; creative or artful: a clever experiment.
b. Witty; amusing: an evening of clever repartee.
c. Characterized by cunning or shrewdness: clever manipulation of public opinion.
3. New England Easily managed; docile: "Oxen must be pretty clever to be bossed around the way they are" (Dialect Notes).
4. Chiefly Southern US Good-natured; amiable.
[Middle English cliver; akin to East Frisian klifer, klüfer; see gleubh- in the Appendix of Indo-European roots.]
The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition copyright ©2020 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
Indo-European & Semitic Roots Appendices
Thousands of entries in the dictionary include etymologies that trace their origins back to reconstructed proto-languages. You can obtain more information about these forms in our online appendices:
The Indo-European appendix covers nearly half of the Indo-European roots that have left their mark on English words. A more complete treatment of Indo-European roots and the English words derived from them is available in our Dictionary of Indo-European Roots.