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canny

[kan-ee] /ˈkæn i/
adjective, cannier, canniest.
1.
careful; cautious; prudent:
a canny reply.
2.
astute; shrewd; knowing; sagacious:
a canny negotiator.
3.
skilled; expert.
4.
frugal; thrifty:
a canny housewife.
5.
Scot.
  1. safe to deal with, invest in, or work at (usually used with a negative).
  2. gentle; careful; steady.
  3. snug; cozy; comfortable.
  4. pleasing; attractive.
  5. Archaic. having supernatural or occult powers.
adverb, Also, cannily
6.
in a canny manner.
7.
Scot. carefully; cautiously.
Origin
1630-1640
1630-40; can1 + -y1
Related forms
canniness, noun
overcanny, adjective
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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Examples for canny
  • Usually my fellow runners are clever if not intellectual, canny if not bookish.
  • He has found some canny ways to tempt them to settle.
  • He has proved that he can still play trumpet with the ghostly tone and canny timing that established him in the jazz pantheon.
  • Felicity not only has perfect foresight, she has also been canny enough to dodge taxes.
  • His is playing that has temperament, poetry, a canny use of coloristic resource and an extraordinary empathy with the audience.
  • The fear must be that more openness means fewer opportunities for canny trading, and lower margins.
  • canny traders have found a lucrative new strategy: sell a firm's stock short and then spread rumours about its accounts.
  • It has proved to be a canny investor, spotting opportunities and frequently turning a sizable profit on its investments.
  • But his failure to transcend party politics does not mean it was not canny to try.
  • canny governments can work with the grain of this psychology.
British Dictionary definitions for canny

canny

/ˈkænɪ/
adjective -nier, -niest
1.
shrewd, esp in business; astute or wary; knowing
2.
(Scot & Northeast English, dialect) good or nice: used as a general term of approval
3.
(Scot) lucky or fortunate
adverb
4.
(Scot & Northeast English, dialect) quite; rather a canny long while
Derived Forms
cannily, adverb
canniness, noun
Word Origin
C16: from can1 (in the sense: to know how) + -y1
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for canny
canny
1630s, Scottish and northern England formation from can (v.) in its sense of "know how to." Often used superciliously of Scots by their southern neighbors, implying "thrift and an eye to the main chance."
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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