Definition of cunning
- a cunning plotter
- a cunning observation
- cunning schemes
- a cunning little kitten
She was cunning enough to fool me.
a cunning, underhanded plan to win the election by preying on people's fears and prejudices
These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'cunning.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.
He may be a fraud, but you have to admire his cunning.
the cunning with which Tom Sawyer was able to get others to whitewash the fence for him
: getting what is wanted in a clever and often deceptive way
: cleverness or skill especially at tricking people in order to get something
What made you want to look up cunning? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).
Merriam-Webster's New Words Quiz—Fall 2017 Edition!
Test your knowledge - and maybe learn something along the way.TAKE THE QUIZ
Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.TAKE THE QUIZ