cunning


Also found in: Thesaurus, Legal, Idioms, Encyclopedia, Wikipedia.

cun·ning

 (kŭn′ĭng)
adj.
1. Marked by or given to artful subtlety and deceptiveness.
2. Executed with or exhibiting ingenuity.
3. Delicately pleasing; pretty or cute: a cunning pet.
n.
1. Skill in deception; guile.
2. Skill or adeptness in execution or performance; dexterity.

[Middle English, present participle of connen, to know, from Old English cunnan; see gnō- in Indo-European roots.]

cun′ning·ly adv.
cun′ning·ness n.

cunning

(ˈkʌnɪŋ)
adj
1. crafty and shrewd, esp in deception; sly: cunning as a fox.
2. made with or showing skill or cleverness; ingenious
n
3. craftiness, esp in deceiving; slyness
4. cleverness, skill, or ingenuity
[Old English cunnende; related to cunnan to know (see can1), cunnian to test, experience, Old Norse kunna to know]
ˈcunningly adv
ˈcunningness n

cun•ning

(ˈkʌn ɪŋ)

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. charmingly cute or appealing: a cunning little baby.
6. Archaic. skillful; expert.
[1275–1325; (n.) Middle English; Old English cunnung=cunn(an) to know (see can1) + -ung -ing1; (adj.) Middle English, present participle of cunnan to know]
cun′ning•ly, adv.
cun′ning•ness, n.

Cunning


Rare. skill or craftiness. — callid, adj.
crafty or deceitful practice. — jesuitic, jesuitical, adj.
subterfuge or devious and underhanded behavior; low cunning.
the art or process of gaining the advantage in situations by means of crafty or ingenious ploys.
1. the act or process of subterfuge or evasion.
2. the abandoning of a cause or belief; apostasy. — tergiversator, n.
Rare. the state or quality of being foxlike, especially crafty or cunning. — vulpine, adj.
ThesaurusAntonymsRelated WordsSynonymsLegend:
Noun1.cunning - shrewdness as demonstrated by being skilled in deceptioncunning - shrewdness as demonstrated by being skilled in deception
astuteness, perspicaciousness, perspicacity, shrewdness - intelligence manifested by being astute (as in business dealings)
2.cunning - crafty artfulness (especially in deception)
artfulness - the quality of being adroit in taking unfair advantage
Adj.1.cunning - attractive especially by means of smallness or prettiness or quaintness; "a cute kid with pigtails"; "a cute little apartment"; "cunning kittens"; "a cunning baby"
attractive - pleasing to the eye or mind especially through beauty or charm; "a remarkably attractive young man"; "an attractive personality"; "attractive clothes"; "a book with attractive illustrations"
2.cunning - marked by skill in deception; "cunning men often pass for wise"; "deep political machinations"; "a foxy scheme"; "a slick evasive answer"; "sly as a fox"; "tricky Dick"; "a wily old attorney"
artful - marked by skill in achieving a desired end especially with cunning or craft; "the artful dodger"; "an artful choice of metaphors"
3.cunning - showing inventiveness and skill; "a clever gadget"; "the cunning maneuvers leading to his success"; "an ingenious solution to the problem"
adroit - quick or skillful or adept in action or thought; "an exceptionally adroit pianist"; "an adroit technician"; "his adroit replies to hecklers won him many followers"; "an adroit negotiator"

cunning

adjective
1. crafty, sly, devious, artful, sharp, subtle, tricky, shrewd, astute, canny, wily, Machiavellian, shifty, foxy, guileful He's a cunning, devious, good-for-nothing so-and-so.
crafty frank, ethical, honest, artless, ingenuous
2. ingenious, subtle, imaginative, shrewd, sly, astute, devious, artful, Machiavellian I came up with a cunning plan.
3. skilful, clever, deft, adroit, dexterous The artist's cunning use of light and shadow creates perspective.
skilful clumsy, maladroit
noun
1. craftiness, guile, trickery, shrewdness, deviousness, artfulness, slyness, wiliness, foxiness an example of the cunning of modern art thieves
craftiness sincerity, candour, ingenuousness
2. skill, art, ability, craft, subtlety, ingenuity, finesse, artifice, dexterity, cleverness, deftness, astuteness, adroitness He tackled the problem with skill and cunning.
skill clumsiness
Quotations
"Cunning is the dark sanctuary of incapacity" [Lord Chesterfield Letters...to his Godson and Successor]

cunning

adjective
Deceitfully clever:
noun
2. The act or practice of deceiving:
Translations
ماكِرمُحْتال، ماكِرمَكْر، دهاء، بَراعه، احتيالمُنَفَّذ بِبَراعه، ذكي، بارِع
chytrýmazanostmazanýprohnanostrafinovaný
snusnuhedudspekuleretkloglist
ovelataitavataitavuuskiero
lukav
alattomoscsalafintacselesdörzsöltravasz
kænskakunnáttusamlegur; kænnlúmskur
狡猾な
교활한
callidus
apgaulingasišradingas
apķērīgsgudrsviltībaviltīgs
priceputvicleanviclenie
premetenzvit
listigslug
เจ้าเล่ห์
kurnazkurnazlıkmarifetlihilekârhilekârlık
xảo quyệt

cunning

[ˈkʌnɪŋ]
A. ADJ
1. (pej) (= sly) → taimado, vivo (LAm)
2. (= clever) [person] → astuto, ingenioso; [plan, scheme, device] → ingenioso
3. (US) (= cute) → mono, precioso
B. N (= slyness) → astucia f; (= cleverness) → ingenio m

cunning

[ˈkʌnɪŋ]
adj
[person] (= clever) → malin/igne (pejorative) (= crafty) → rusé(e)
(= clever) [device, idea] → astucieux/euse
n (= cleverness) → astuce f (pejorative) (= craftiness) → ruse f

cunning

n (= cleverness)Schlauheit f, → Listigkeit f, → Gerissenheit f; (liter: = skill) → (Kunst)fertigkeit f, → Geschick nt
adj
planschlau; personschlau, gerissen; smile, expressionverschmitzt, verschlagen (pej); (= ingenious) gadgetschlau or clever (inf)ausgedacht
(US inf) → drollig

cunning

[ˈkʌnɪŋ]
1. adj (pej) (crafty) → furbo/a, astuto/a; (clever, device, idea) → ingegnoso/a
2. nfurbizia, astuzia

cunning

(ˈkaniŋ) adjective
1. sly; clever in a deceitful way. cunning tricks.
2. clever. a cunning device.
noun
slyness or deceitful cleverness. full of cunning.
ˈcunningly adverb
cunningly disguised.

cunning

ماكِر rafinovaný snu schlau πανούργος astuto ovela rusé lukav furbo 狡猾な 교활한 listig listig przebiegły astuto хитрый listig เจ้าเล่ห์ kurnaz xảo quyệt 狡猾的
References in classic literature ?
Now, Marmee, that is very cunning of you to turn our own stories against us, and give us a sermon instead of a romance
In war, he is daring, boastful, cunning, ruthless, self-denying, and self-devoted; in peace, just, generous, hospitable, revengeful, superstitious, modest, and commonly chaste.
A better book than I shall ever write was there; leaf after leaf presenting itself to me, just as it was written out by the reality of the flitting hour, and vanishing as fast as written, only because my brain wanted the insight, and my hand the cunning, to transcribe it.
To gaze into the depths of blue of the child's eyes and pronounce their loveliness a trick of premature cunning was to be guilty of a cynicism in preference to which I naturally preferred to abjure my judgment and, so far as might be, my agitation.
not the smallest atom stirs or lives on matter, but has its cunning duplicate in mind.
He could cut cunning little baskets out of cherry-stones, could make grotesque faces on hickory-nuts, or odd-jumping figures out of elder-pith, and he was a very Pan in the manufacture of whistles of all sizes and sorts.
England will be a hornets' nest before noon to-morrow, if the Church's hand hasn't lost its cunning -- and we know it hasn't.
The first prize was a most cunning half-grown silver bugle, and mighty pretty, with red silk cord and tassels.
This cunning paper made him responsible for heaps of things.
Like many other simple-hearted souls, it was her pet vanity to believe she was endowed with a talent for dark and mysterious diplomacy, and she loved to con- template her most transparent devices as marvels of low cunning.
If Rebecca had plotted for days, and with the utmost cunning, she could not have effected an entrance into that forbidden country, and now, unknown to both of them, the gate swung on its stiff and rusty hinges, and the favoring wind of opportunity opened it wider and wider as time went on.
The whisper that my master was my father, may or may not be true; and, true or false, it is of but little con- sequence to my purpose whilst the fact remains, in all its glaring odiousness, that slaveholders have ordained, and by law established, that the children of slave women shall in all cases follow the condi- tion of their mothers; and this is done too obviously to administer to their own lusts, and make a grati- fication of their wicked desires profitable as well as pleasurable; for by this cunning arrangement, the slaveholder, in cases not a few, sustains to his slaves the double relation of master and father.