Also found in: Thesaurus, Legal.
Related to canniness: uncanny


adj. can·ni·er, can·ni·est
1. Careful and shrewd, especially where one's own interests are concerned.
2. Cautious in spending money; frugal.
3. Scots
a. Steady, restrained, and gentle.
b. Snug and quiet.

[From can.]

can′ni·ly adv.
can′ni·ness n.
References in classic literature ?
But his superstition united with his canniness played the Count's game for him, and he ran with his favoring wind through fogs and all till he brought up blindfold at Galatz.
Kate would be far better to equip her daughter with a confidence and canniness to survive it.
But if he does win enough second preferences to hand him the crown his campaign will be reassessed as a masterpiece of strategic canniness.
There will not be much canniness in these semi-finals.
As the fulcrum of this team, George Ford has a calmness and canniness beyond his 21 years, an opportunist's try exemplified Youngs' quickness of mind and he was operating behind a pack that is seldom bettered.
Some got lucky - earning fortunes in royalties from coal dug beneath their rolling acres - but others were smart, canniness apparently in the genes.
Astor was pleased with the moral support (although he probably would have undertaken the venture in any case) and brought his considerable canniness, meticulousness, and resources to the enterprise.
Instead, he directs our attention to the fact that the wily Chief Justice Hughes was only mildly inconvenienced by the professional requirement that he concoct "an ingenious, convoluted argument" in which the Court "abandoned its precedent in substance, though keeping the form of it intact--evidence, again, of Hughes's legal canniness and his political guile.
The same canniness that allowed Hitler to deploy symbolism so adroitly also permitted him to grasp the real danger and power of modern art, which is why he banned it as "degenerate.
CHANGER: A whole foot smaller than the giant Traore, Naismith caused Swansea different problems with his movement between the defensive lines and his canniness on the ball.
Byron, too, was no match for Murray's canniness in matters financial, although he received nearly 20,000 [pounds sterling] from Murray over the ten years of their association (St.