Meaning of shifty in English:


adjectiveshiftier, shiftiest

  • 1(of a person or their manner) appearing deceitful or evasive.

    ‘he had a shifty look about him’
    • ‘She was shifty, evasive and clearly unprepared for the assault.’
    • ‘No, he said, he did not agree that he was shifty or dishonest, but he pointed out that he had moved his position on evidence once or twice.’
    • ‘We're pretty sure there are shifty people somewhere.’
    • ‘‘The secret to door opening is this, Melissa,’ James glanced around in a shifty manner.’
    • ‘Sure, it made me seem like a shifty person, but so be it.’
    • ‘My shifty manner is, I am pretty sure, that of the classic fraudster.’
    • ‘Not only had I failed in my duties, but some other guy - a dopey, shifty guy we both knew - had sent her flowers with a card attached.’
    • ‘In fact, come to think of it, he was downright shifty.’
    • ‘Turns out they pay an idiotic sum (think thousands of Canadian dollars) to a couple of shifty sailors to take them there.’
    • ‘You guys are shifty, and you guys answer quickly with tremendous certainty, and it's the wrong answer.’
    • ‘Gazing down shows that either you're shifty - and therefore lying - or that you are defeated.’
    • ‘His manner was shifty; there was guilt written all over his face.’
    • ‘Now comes the news that her shifty lawyer father has only 48 hours to raise a lot of money or face financial ruin and imprisonment.’
    • ‘His overall appearance was that of a shifty man who couldn't be trusted.’
    • ‘It is a slow-boiler of a film, an exercise in the suspense that spooky children, locked doors, creaking floors, mist, candles and shifty characters do best.’
    • ‘But he's shifty and elusive in the open field and could preserve the big-play ability Smith may otherwise miss on kick returns.’
    • ‘And he looked like a shifty dealer just opening his pack.’
    • ‘It seems that the shifty fellow had broken into the small museum in the town and in an unguarded moment had filched the treasure map and a few gold coins.’
    • ‘He stealthed behind her for a few minutes before she turned into an alleyway, where a shifty character stood waiting for her.’
    • ‘When I came to, I found myself tightly tied to a steel chair guarded by a few shifty men guarding me with loaded guns.’
    devious, evasive, slippery, duplicitous, false, deceitful, underhand, untrustworthy, double-dealing, two-faced, Janus-faced, dishonest, shady, wily, crafty, cunning, tricky, sneaky, furtive, treacherous, artful, sly, scheming, contriving
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  • 2Constantly changing; shifting.

    ‘it was a close race in a shifty wind on smooth water’
    • ‘On the last lap, the wind freshened and became more shifty.’
    • ‘According to both experts and victims, the shifty world of immigration consultation here often works in conjunction with networks in the refugees' home countries.’