1610s, "learned, well-versed in the (liberal) arts," also "characterized by technical skill," from art (n.) + -ful. Meaning "skilled in adapting means to ends" is from 1739. Related: Artfully; artfulness.
1. Despite some artful editing, the anthology is a weak one.
2. There is also an artful contrast of shapes.
3. That man used artful means to find out secrets.
4. A weathercock and an artful person, he spoke a lot of beautiful words to please people.
5. Some politicians have realised that there are more artful ways of subduing people than shooting or jailing them.