cunning


cunning
cunningly, adv.cunningness, n.
/kun"ing/, n.
1. skill employed in a shrewd or sly manner, as in deceiving; craftiness; guile.
2. adeptness in performance; dexterity: The weaver's hand lost its cunning.
adj.
3. showing or made with ingenuity.
4. artfully subtle or shrewd; crafty; sly.
5. Informal. charmingly cute or appealing: a cunning little baby.
6. Archaic. skillful; expert.
v.
7. Obs. ppr. of can1.
[1275-1325; (n.) ME; OE cunnung, equiv. to cunn(an) to know (see CAN1) + -ung -ING1; (adj., v.) ME, prp. of cunnan to know (see CAN1, -ING2)]
Syn. 1. shrewdness, artfulness, wiliness, trickery, finesse, intrigue, slyness, deception. CUNNING, ARTIFICE, CRAFT imply an inclination toward deceit, slyness, and trickery. CUNNING implies a shrewd, often instinctive skill in concealing or disguising the real purposes of one's actions: not intelligence but a low kind of cunning. An ARTIFICE is a clever, unscrupulous ruse, used to mislead others: a successful artifice to conceal one's motives. CRAFT suggests underhand methods and the use of deceptive devices and tricks to attain one's ends: craft and deceitfulness in every act. 2. adroitness. 3. ingenious, skillful. 4. artful, wily, tricky, foxy.

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Universalium. 2010.

Synonyms:

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  • Cunning — Cun ning (k[u^]n n[i^]ng), a. [AS. cunnan to know, to be able. See 1st {Con}, {Can}.] 1. Knowing; skillful; dexterous. A cunning workman. Ex. xxxviii. 23. [1913 Webster] Tis beauty truly blent, whose red and white Nature s own sweet and cunning… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • Cunning — Cun ning, n. [AS. cunnung trial, or Icel. kunnandi knowledge. See {Cunning}, a.] 1. Knowledge; art; skill; dexterity. [Archaic] [1913 Webster] Let my right hand forget her cunning. Ps. cxxxvii. 5. [1913 Webster] A carpenter s desert Stands more… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • Cunning — can also mean slip past or sneaky. Cunning can refer to the following: A Japanese comedy group known as Cunning (owarai) The Cunning folk, a type of folk magic user This disambiguation page lists articles associated with the same title. If an …   Wikipedia

  • cunning — adj 1 ingenious, *clever, adroit Analogous words: skillful, skilled, adept, *proficient, expert, masterly 2 crafty, tricky, artful, *sly, foxy, insidious, wily, guileful Analogous words: devious, oblique, *crooked …   New Dictionary of Synonyms

  • cunning — [adj1] devious acute, artful, astute, cagey, canny, crafty, crazy like fox*, deep, fancy footwork*, foxy, guileful, insidious, keen, knowing, Machiavellian, sharp, shifty, shrewd, slick, slippery, sly, sly boots*, smart, smarts, smooth, street… …   New thesaurus

  • cunning — index artful, artifice, clandestine, collusive, color (deceptive appearance), deceit, deception, deceptive, deft …   Law dictionary

  • cunning — (adj.) early 14c., learned, skillful, prp. of cunnen to know (see CAN (Cf. can) (v.)). Sense of skillfully deceitful is probably late 14c. As a noun from c.1300. Related: Cunningly …   Etymology dictionary

  • cunning — ► ADJECTIVE 1) skilled in achieving one s ends by deceit or evasion. 2) ingenious. 3) N. Amer. attractive; charming. ► NOUN 1) craftiness. 2) ingenuity. DERIVATIVES …   English terms dictionary

  • cunning — [kun′iŋ] adj. [ME, having skill, knowing < prp. of cunnen, to know: see CAN1] 1. Now Rare skillful or clever 2. skillful in deception; sly; crafty 3. made or done with skill or ingenuity ☆ 4. attractive or pretty in a delicate way; cute n …   English World dictionary

  • Cunning — (Roget s Thesaurus) < N PARAG:Cunning >N GRP: N 1 Sgm: N 1 cunning cunning craft Sgm: N 1 cunningness cunningness craftiness &c. >Adj. Sgm: N 1 subtlety subtlety artificiality Sgm: N 1 maneuvering maneuvering …   English dictionary for students

  • cunning — cun|ning1 [ˈkʌnıŋ] adj [Date: 1200 1300; Origin: Present participle of cun to know , an early form of can; CAN1] 1.) someone who is cunning is clever and good at deceiving people in order to get what they want = ↑crafty ▪ a cunning opponent 2.)… …   Dictionary of contemporary English