Cunning
Cunning Cun"ning (k[u^]n"n[i^]ng), a. [AS. cunnan to know, to be able. See 1st {Con}, {Can}.] 1. Knowing; skillful; dexterous. ``A cunning workman.'' -- Ex. xxxviii. 23. [1913 Webster]

``Tis beauty truly blent, whose red and white Nature's own sweet and cunning hand laid on. --Shak. [1913 Webster]

Esau was a cunning hunter. --Gen xxv. 27. [1913 Webster]

2. Wrought with, or exhibiting, skill or ingenuity; ingenious; curious; as, cunning work. [1913 Webster]

Over them Arachne high did lift

Her cunning web. --Spenser. [1913 Webster]

3. Crafty; sly; artful; designing; deceitful. [1913 Webster]

They are resolved to be cunning; let others run the hazard of being sincere. --South. [1913 Webster]

4. Pretty or pleasing; as, a cunning little boy. [Colloq. U.S.] --Barlett.

Syn: {Cunning}, {Artful}, {Sly}, {Wily}, {Crafty}.

Usage: These epithets agree in expressing an aptitude for attaining some end by peculiar and secret means. Cunning is usually low; as, a cunning trick. Artful is more ingenious and inventive; as, an artful device. Sly implies a turn for what is double or concealed; as, sly humor; a sly evasion. Crafty denotes a talent for dexterously deceiving; as, a crafty manager. Wily describes a talent for the use of stratagems; as, a wily politician. ``Acunning man often shows his dexterity in simply concealing. An artful man goes further, and exerts his ingenuity in misleading. A crafty man mingles cunning with art, and so shapes his actions as to lull suspicions. The young may be cunning, but the experienced only can be crafty. Slyness is a vulgar kind of cunning; the sly man goes cautiously and silently to work. Wiliness is a species of cunning or craft applicable only to cases of attack and defense.'' --Crabb. [1913 Webster]


The Collaborative International Dictionary of English. 2000.

Synonyms:

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Cunning — Cun ning, n. [AS. cunnung trial, or Icel. kunnandi knowledge. See {Cunning}, a.] 1. Knowledge; art; skill; dexterity. [Archaic] [1913 Webster] Let my right hand forget her cunning. Ps. cxxxvii. 5. [1913 Webster] A carpenter s desert Stands more… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • Cunning — can also mean slip past or sneaky. Cunning can refer to the following: A Japanese comedy group known as Cunning (owarai) The Cunning folk, a type of folk magic user This disambiguation page lists articles associated with the same title. If an …   Wikipedia

  • cunning — adj 1 ingenious, *clever, adroit Analogous words: skillful, skilled, adept, *proficient, expert, masterly 2 crafty, tricky, artful, *sly, foxy, insidious, wily, guileful Analogous words: devious, oblique, *crooked …   New Dictionary of Synonyms

  • cunning — [adj1] devious acute, artful, astute, cagey, canny, crafty, crazy like fox*, deep, fancy footwork*, foxy, guileful, insidious, keen, knowing, Machiavellian, sharp, shifty, shrewd, slick, slippery, sly, sly boots*, smart, smarts, smooth, street… …   New thesaurus

  • cunning — index artful, artifice, clandestine, collusive, color (deceptive appearance), deceit, deception, deceptive, deft …   Law dictionary

  • cunning — (adj.) early 14c., learned, skillful, prp. of cunnen to know (see CAN (Cf. can) (v.)). Sense of skillfully deceitful is probably late 14c. As a noun from c.1300. Related: Cunningly …   Etymology dictionary

  • cunning — ► ADJECTIVE 1) skilled in achieving one s ends by deceit or evasion. 2) ingenious. 3) N. Amer. attractive; charming. ► NOUN 1) craftiness. 2) ingenuity. DERIVATIVES …   English terms dictionary

  • cunning — [kun′iŋ] adj. [ME, having skill, knowing < prp. of cunnen, to know: see CAN1] 1. Now Rare skillful or clever 2. skillful in deception; sly; crafty 3. made or done with skill or ingenuity ☆ 4. attractive or pretty in a delicate way; cute n …   English World dictionary

  • Cunning — (Roget s Thesaurus) < N PARAG:Cunning >N GRP: N 1 Sgm: N 1 cunning cunning craft Sgm: N 1 cunningness cunningness craftiness &c. >Adj. Sgm: N 1 subtlety subtlety artificiality Sgm: N 1 maneuvering maneuvering …   English dictionary for students

  • cunning — cun|ning1 [ˈkʌnıŋ] adj [Date: 1200 1300; Origin: Present participle of cun to know , an early form of can; CAN1] 1.) someone who is cunning is clever and good at deceiving people in order to get what they want = ↑crafty ▪ a cunning opponent 2.)… …   Dictionary of contemporary English

Share the article and excerpts

Direct link
Do a right-click on the link above
and select “Copy Link”