Hyper Dictionary

English Dictionary Computer Dictionary Video Dictionary Thesaurus Dream Dictionary Medical Dictionary

Search Dictionary:  

Meaning of CUNNING

Pronunciation:  'kuning

WordNet Dictionary
  1. [n]  drafty artfulness (especially in deception)
  2. [n]  shrewdness as demonstrated by being skilled in deception
  3. [n]  shrewdness in deception; "as cunning as a fox"
  4. [adj]  showing inventiveness and skill; "a clever gadget"; "the cunning maneuvers leading to his success"; "an ingenious solution to the problem"
  5. [adj]  marked by skill in deception; "cunning men often pass for wise"; "deep political machinations"; "a foxy scheme"; "a slick evasive answer"; "sly as a fox"; "tricky Dick"; "a wily old attorney"
  6. [adj]  attractive especially by means of smallness or prettiness or quaintness; "a cute kid with pigtails"; "a cute little apartment"; "cunning kittens"; "a cunning baby"

CUNNING is a 7 letter word that starts with C.


 Synonyms: adroit, artful, attractive, clever, craft, craftiness, crafty, cute, dodgy, foxiness, foxy, guile, guileful, ingenious, knavish, slick, sly, slyness, tricksy, tricky, wiliness, wily
 See Also: artfulness, astuteness, perspicaciousness, perspicacity, shrewdness



Webster's 1913 Dictionary
  1. \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.
             ``Tis beauty truly blent, whose red and white
             Nature's own sweet and cunning hand laid on. --Shak.
             Esau was a cunning hunter.            --Gen xxv. 27.
    2. Wrought with, or exhibiting, skill or ingenuity;
       ingenious; curious; as, cunning work.
             Over them Arachne high did lift
             Her cunning web.                      --Spenser.
    3. Crafty; sly; artful; designing; deceitful.
             They are resolved to be cunning; let others run the
             hazard of being sincere.              --South.
    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.
  2. \Cun"ning\, n. [AS. cunnung trial, or Icel. kunnandi
    knowledge. See {Cunning}, a.]
    1. Knowledge; art; skill; dexterity. [Archaic]
             Let my right hand forget her cunning. --Ps. cxxxvii.
             A carpenter's desert Stands more in cunning than in
             power.                                --Chapman.
    2. The faculty or act of using stratagem to accomplish a
       purpose; fraudulent skill or dexterity; deceit; craft.
             Discourage cunning in a child; cunning is the ape of
             wisdom.                               --Locke.
             We take cunning for a sinister or crooked wisdom.
Thesaurus Terms
 Related Terms: ability, acute, address, adept, adeptness, adroit, adroitness, agility, airmanship, ambidexterity, ambidextrous, animal cunning, apt, arch, art, artful, artfulness, artifice, artisanship, artistic, artistry, astute, authoritative, bad faith, bravura, brilliance, brilliant, Byzantine, cagey, cageyness, calculating, canniness, canny, capability, capacity, chiseling, clean, clever, cleverness, collusive, command, competence, control, coordinated, coordination, covinous, crack, crackerjack, craft, craftiness, craftsmanship, crafty, crooked, cunning, cunningness, cute, daedal, Daedalian, dainty, deceit, deceitful, deceitfulness, deep, deep-laid, deft, deftness, delicate, designing, devious, deviousness, dexterity, dexterous, dexterousness, dextrous, dextrousness, diplomacy, diplomatic, dishonest, dishonesty, dissemblance, dissimulation, double, double-dealing, double-faced, doublehearted, double-minded, doubleness, doubleness of heart, double-tongued, duplicitous, duplicity, efficiency, excellent, expert, expertise, expertness, facility, faithless, faithlessness, false, falsehearted, falseheartedness, falseness, false-principled, fancy, feline, finagling, finesse, foxiness, foxy, fraudulent, furtive, furtiveness, good, goodish, grace, graceful, grip, guile, guileful, guilefulness, handiness, handy, horsemanship, hypocrisy, improbity, indirect, indirection, ingenious, ingeniousness, ingenuity, insidious, insidiousness, inventive, keen, know-how, knowing, low cunning, Machiavellian, Machiavellianism, Machiavellic, magisterial, marksmanship, masterful, masterly, mastership, mastery, mignon, neat, no mean, pawkiness, pawky, perfidious, politic, practical ability, professional, proficiency, proficient, prowess, quick, quickness, quite some, readiness, ready, resource, resourceful, resourcefulness, satanic cunning, savoir-faire, savvy, scheming, seamanship, serpentine, sharp, sharpness, shiftiness, shifty, shrewd, shrewdness, skill, skillful, skillfulness, slick, slickness, slim, slippery, sly, slyness, smart, smooth, snaky, sneak attack, sneakiness, sneaky, some, sophistical, statesmanlike, stealthy, strategic, style, stylish, subtile, subtility, subtilty, subtle, subtlety, supple, surreptitious, surreptitiousness, tact, tactful, tactfulness, tactical, technical brilliance, technical mastery, technical skill, technique, the compleat, the complete, timing, treacherous, treacherousness, treachery, trickiness, trickish, tricksy, tricky, two-faced, two-facedness, underhand, underhanded, underhandedness, virtuosity, virtuoso, vulpine, wary, well-considered, well-contrived, well-designed, well-devised, well-done, well-invented, well-laid, well-planned, well-reasoned, well-thought-out, well-weighed, wile, wiliness, wily, wit, wizardry, workmanlike, workmanship