canny

adjective
can·​ny | \ ˈka-nē How to pronounce canny (audio) \
cannier; canniest

Definition of canny

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : clever, shrewd a canny lawyer also : prudent canny investments

2 chiefly Scotland

a : careful, steady also : restrained
b : quiet, snug then canny, in some cozy place, they close the day— Robert Burns

canny

adverb

Definition of canny (Entry 2 of 2)

Scotland
: in a canny manner : carefully

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Other Words from canny

Adjective

cannily \ ˈka-​nə-​lē How to pronounce cannily (audio) \ adverb
canniness \ ˈka-​nē-​nəs How to pronounce canniness (audio) \ noun

Synonyms & Antonyms for canny

Synonyms: Adjective

astute, clear-eyed, clear-sighted, hard-boiled, hardheaded, heady, knowing, savvy, sharp, sharp-witted, shrewd, smart

Antonyms: Adjective

unknowing

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Examples of canny in a Sentence

Adjective

a canny card player, good at psyching out his opponents warm and canny under the woolen bedcovers, we didn't mind the chilly Scottish nights

Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective

Expos were another canny marketing tool: Display show-stoppers, and watch the commissions roll in. Cate Mcquaid, BostonGlobe.com, "With this glittering display of silver, a Providence rags-to-riches tale," 3 July 2019 In this canny scenario, the end-of-Earth calamities are all rolled up into the massive asteroid streaking toward Earth at 22,000 mph, due to hit in 18 days since first sighted by NASA. Duane Byrge, The Hollywood Reporter, "'Armageddon': THR's 1998 Review," 1 July 2019 Saslaw, a canny veteran of Capitol politics who is ardently pro-business and chummy with Republicans, hasn’t faced a primary challenger in 40 years. Washington Post, "Feisty Virginia primaries closely watched for national trend," 11 June 2019 Neil Woodford, who built a formidable reputation as a canny stock picker with contrarian views over more than two decades managing money for U.K.-listed Invesco, closed the gate on his Woodford Equity Income Fund on Monday. Paul J. Davies, WSJ, "Star Manager Woodford Halts Fund’s Redemptions," 4 June 2019 Saslaw, a canny veteran of Capitol politics who is ardently pro-business and chummy with Republicans, hasn't faced a primary challenger in 40 years. CBS News, "Virginia holds primary election as political watchers look for 2020 trends," 11 June 2019 Vo is too canny and too much of an aesthete for that. David Salle, The New York Review of Books, "David Salle," 9 May 2019 But some canny creatures seem to have come back from the beyond. Caitlin Etherton, National Geographic, "See 8 animal species that came back from the dead," 1 Mar. 2019 Now, these partnerships are first and foremost a canny business move. Glamour, "At Long Last, Fashion Is Making Cool Merch for Fandoms," 19 Apr. 2019

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'canny.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of canny

Adjective

1596, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Adverb

1786, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for canny

Adjective

can entry 1

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Dictionary Entries near canny

cannula

cannular

cannulate

canny

canny moment

canoa

canoe

Statistics for canny

Last Updated

18 Jul 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for canny

The first known use of canny was in 1596

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More Definitions for canny

canny

adjective

English Language Learners Definition of canny

: very clever and able to make intelligent decisions

canny

adjective
can·​ny | \ ˈka-nē How to pronounce canny (audio) \
cannier; canniest

Kids Definition of canny

: clever especially in taking advantage of opportunities : shrewd a canny decision canny shoppers

Other Words from canny

cannily \ ˈka-​nə-​lē \ adverb

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More from Merriam-Webster on canny

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with canny

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for canny

Spanish Central: Translation of canny

Nglish: Translation of canny for Spanish Speakers

Comments on canny

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