Dictionary

cunning

1cunning

adjective cun·ning \ˈkə-niŋ\

: getting what is wanted in a clever and often deceptive way

Full Definition of CUNNING

1
:  dexterous or crafty in the use of special resources (as skill or knowledge) or in attaining an end <a cunning plotter>
2
:  displaying keen insight <a cunning observation>
3
:  characterized by wiliness and trickery <cunning schemes>
4
:  prettily appealing :  cute <a cunning little kitten>
cun·ning·ly \-niŋ-lē\ adverb
cun·ning·ness noun

Examples of CUNNING

  1. She was cunning enough to fool me.
  2. <a cunning, underhanded plan to win the election by preying on people's fears and prejudices>
  3. … this cat has made his way into the Fitness Center for cunning reasons of his own and reveals himself only to certain privileged individuals. —Joyce Carol Oates, Harper's, June 2008

Origin of CUNNING

Middle English, from present participle of can know
First Known Use: 14th century

Rhymes with CUNNING

2cunning

noun cun·ning \ˈkə-niŋ\

: cleverness or skill especially at tricking people in order to get something

Full Definition of CUNNING

1
obsolete
a :  knowledge, learning
b :  magic art
2
:  dexterous skill and subtlety (as in inventing, devising, or executing) <high-ribbed vault … with perfect cunning framed — William Wordsworth>
3
:  craft, slyness

Examples of CUNNING

  1. He may be a fraud, but you have to admire his cunning.
  2. <the cunning with which Tom Sawyer was able to get others to whitewash the fence for him>
  3. The writing is best in the play's later scenes, when More deploys his legal cunning to help him weasel out of a political trap set by the oleaginous Thomas Cromwell … —John Lahr, New Yorker, 20 Oct. 2008

Origin of CUNNING

(see 1cunning)
First Known Use: 14th century

Rhymes with CUNNING

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