as sly as a fox


      • being cunning or deceitful
        Describing someone who is very clever or crafty in their actions, often in a sneaky or underhanded way

      • being quick or agile
        Referring to someone who is very nimble or agile in their movements, like a fox who can move swiftly and with grace

    Examples of as sly as a fox

    • The sales manager was as sly as a fox when he convinced the client to sign the contract with a sweet deal.

      The idiom "as sly as a fox" is used here to describe the sales manager's ability to manipulate and outsmart the client in order to achieve his goal. It implies that the sales manager is clever and cunning, just like a fox.

    • Some politicians are as sly as a fox when they make promises they know they cannot keep.

      In this example, "as sly as a fox" is used to criticize the politicians' deceptive and manipulative actions. It implies that they make false promises to gain support, much like a fox's cleverness in outwitting its prey.

    • The CEO was as sly as a fox when he presented a false financial report to the board of directors.

      Here, "as sly as a fox" is used to describe the CEO's deceitful behavior in presenting a false financial report. It highlights the CEO's cunning and slyness in trying to hide the truth.

    • The detective was as sly as a fox when he caught the thief red-handed.

      In this example, "as sly as a fox" is used to describe the detective's cleverness and intelligence in catching the thief. It implies that the detective was able to outsmart the thief thanks to his quick wit and cunningness.

    • The politician calmly deflected questions about his involvement in the scandal, like a fox avoiding a hunter's trap.

      In this example, "as sly as a fox" is used figuratively to describe the politician's ability to evade responsibility for wrongdoing. Just as a fox is cunning and able to escape danger, the politician is able to skillfully avoid bringing attention to himself.

    • She could outsmart her opponents with ease, as sly as a fox in a game of chess.

      Here, "as sly as a fox" is used to illustrate the person's intelligence and strategic thinking. Just as a fox uses its wits to outmaneuver its prey, the person is adept at outsmarting her opponents in a competitive situation.

    • The trickster slipped away from the police, as sly as a fox in the dark of night.

      In this example, "as sly as a fox" is used to convey the person's stealth and cunning ability to evade capture. Just as a fox is able to move quickly and quietly through the darkness, the trickster was able to successfully escape from the authorities.

    • His smooth talking charmed the audience, as sly as a fox in a den of lions.

      Using "as sly as a fox" in this instance, compares the person's social and communication skills with those of a fox. Just as a fox uses its charm to manipulate others, the person's charisma allowed him to smoothly navigate through a difficult social situation.


    The idiom "as sly as a fox" can be used to describe someone who is clever and deceitful in their actions, or someone who is quick and agile like a fox. It is a colorful way to characterize someone's behavior or physical abilities, often implying a sense of craftiness or nimbleness.

    Origin of "as sly as a fox"

    The phrase "as sly as a fox" has its origins in the natural behaviors of foxes. Foxes are known for their cunning and ability to outsmart other animals, making them a symbol of cleverness in many cultures. This idiom likely originated from observations of fox behavior in the wild, where their sly and strategic actions would have been noticed and remarked upon by humans.

    The comparison to a fox in this idiom highlights the traits of cleverness and agility, which are characteristics often associated with the animal. The phrase has since become a common way to describe someone who exhibits similar qualities, whether in their actions or physical abilities.