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To act skillfully and cunningly or deceitfully to achieve a desired outcome. Primarily heard in UK. The principal is already on to you, so you're going to have to box clever to avoid a suspension.
1. To physically block and thus prevent someone or something from moving from a certain spot. A noun can be used between "box" and "in" or after "in." Well, I guess I'm not leaving yet because that van is boxing in my car.
2. To limit one's options or cause one to feel restricted or stuck. A noun can be used between "box" and "in" or after "in." I'm a very versatile performer—don't just box me in as a comedic actress.
1. Of a person, to force to be in a small or confining space. A noun can be used between "box" and "up" or after "up." Now that Jenny is off at college, can I move into her bedroom? I'm sick of being boxed up in my tiny room. I always take the stairs because I hate boxing myself up in an elevator.
2. To pack objects into a box. A noun can be used between "box" and "up" or after "up." I am in the process of boxing up my entire house for a cross-country move. Please be careful when you box those dishes up.
box someone in
Fig. to put someone into a bind; to reduce the number of someone's alternatives. I don't want to box you in, but you are running out of options. I want to box in the whole staff, so they'll have to do it my way.
box someone or something in
to trap or confine someone or something. He boxed her in so she could not get away from him. They tried to box in the animals, but they needed more space. Don't try to box me in.
box someone up
to confine someone in a small area. Please don't box me up in that little office. The boss boxed up Fred in a tiny office. Why the president boxes himself up in such a little office is beyond me.
box something up
to place something in a box. Please box the books up and put them into the trunk of the car. Please box up four of these for me.
be boxing cleverBRITISH
If someone is boxing clever, they are being very clever and careful in the way they behave in a difficult situation, so that they can get an advantage for themselves. By boxing clever with your personal tax allowances you could save £900 a year.
box cleveract so as to outwit someone. British informal
1950 Alexander Baron There's No Home If you box clever and keep your mouth shut…you ought to be able to count on a suspended sentence.
box ˈclever(British English, informal) act in a clever way to get what you want, sometimes tricking and deceiving somebody: Suzie realized that she had to box clever. She had to let Adam think she trusted him.
1. To trap or confine someone or something in a limited space or region: We boxed in the left corner of the living room with a new wall and curtains. The enemy forces had boxed us in on all sides.
2. To prevent someone from acting freely, usually by creating restrictions or obstacles: Being too strict will box in your students and prevent them from being creative. I want to make some changes at the office, but my boss has boxed me in with too many rules.