Etymology
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artful (adj.)

1610s, "learned, well-versed in the (liberal) arts," also "characterized by technical skill, artistic," from art (n.) + -ful. Meaning "cunning, crafty, skilled in adapting means to ends" is from 1739. Related: Artfully; artfulness. The Artful Dodger (Jack Dawkins) is from Dickens' "Oliver Twist" (1837-39).

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Definitions of artful

artful (adj.)
not straightforward or candid; giving a false appearance of frankness; "an ambitious, disingenuous, philistine, and hypocritical operator, who...exemplified...the most disagreeable traits of his time"- David Cannadine;
Synonyms: disingenuous
artful (adj.)
marked by skill in achieving a desired end especially with cunning or craft;
an artful choice of metaphors
the artful dodger
From wordnet.princeton.edu