Word of the Day: guile

guile ˈgī-əl noun

noun: shrewdness as demonstrated by being skilled in deception

noun: the quality of being crafty

noun: the use of tricks to deceive someone, usually to extract money from them

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The word guile has appeared in 21 articles on NYTimes.com in the past year, including on Dec. 3 in “Messi’s Score Sets Tone for Argentina in World Cup Win” by James Wagner:

In the first half, Messi and Argentina quietly probed the Australian defense, controlling possession of the ball and looking for any crease. With the guile and shiftiness of Messi, who roams freely around the field, that opening can come at any moment — and through any defender.

Toward the end of the first half, Argentina midfielder Alexis Mac Allister flicked a pass to Nicolás Otamendi in the penalty area. In a slick give-and-go, Otamendi astutely stopped and left the ball to Messi, who took one dribble and fired a shot through the legs of an Australian defender and into the lower left corner of the net. And just like that, the massive pressure facing Argentina and Messi in Qatar, a tournament that began with a stunning loss to Saudi Arabia, felt as if it had lifted.

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