Quantcast
Merriam-Webster Logo
  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
  • Scrabble
  • Spanish Central
  • Learner's Dictionary
1

canny

play
adjective can·ny \ˈka-nē\

Simple Definition of canny

  • : very clever and able to make intelligent decisions

Source: Merriam-Webster's Learner's Dictionary

Full Definition of canny

cannier

canniest

  1. 1 :  clever, shrewd <a canny lawyer>; also :  prudent <canny investments>

  2. 2 chiefly Scottish a :  careful, steady; also :  restrained b :  quiet, snug <then canny, in some cozy place, they close the day — Robert Burns>

cannily

play \ˈka-nəl-ē\ adverb

canniness

play \ˈka-nē-nəs\ noun

Examples of canny in a sentence

  1. <a canny card player, good at psyching out his opponents>

  2. <warm and canny under the woolen bedcovers, we didn't mind the chilly Scottish nights>



Origin and Etymology of canny

1can


First Known Use: 1596


2

canny

adverb can·ny

Definition of canny

Scottish

  1. :  in a canny manner :  carefully



Circa 1796

First Known Use of canny

circa 1796


CANNY Defined for Kids

canny

play
adjective can·ny \ˈka-nē\

Definition of canny for Students

cannier

canniest

  1. :  clever especially in taking advantage of opportunities :  shrewd <a canny decision> <canny shoppers>

cannily

\ˈka-nə-lē\ adverb




Seen and Heard

What made you want to look up canny? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).

WORD OF THE DAY

a very small amount

Get Word of the Day daily email!

WORD GAMES

Take a 3-minute break and test your skills!

alphabet-pasta-spelling-help

Which is the correct spelling?

accomodate accommodate acommodate acommadate
Name That Thing

Test your visual vocabulary with our 10-question challenge!

TAKE THE QUIZ
SCRABBLE® Sprint

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

TAKE THE QUIZ