cunning
I. adjective Etymology: Middle English, from present participle of can know Date: 14th century 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
>
Synonyms: see clever, slycunningly adverbcunningness noun II. noun Date: 14th century 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 Synonyms: see art

New Collegiate Dictionary. 2001.

Synonyms:

Look at other dictionaries:

  • 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… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • 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”