Cunnings

cunning

[kuhn-ing]
noun
1.
skill employed in a shrewd or sly manner, as in deceiving; craftiness; guile.
2.
adeptness in performance; dexterity: The weaver's hand lost its cunning.
adjective
3.
showing or made with ingenuity.
4.
artfully subtle or shrewd; crafty; sly.
5.
Informal. charmingly cute or appealing: a cunning little baby.
6.
Archaic. skillful; expert.
verb
7.
Obsolete. present participle of can1.

Origin:
1275–1325; (noun) Middle English; Old English cunnung, equivalent to cunn(an) to know (see can1) + -ung -ing1; (adj., v.) Middle English, present participle of cunnan to know (see can1, -ing2)

cunningly, adverb
cunningness, noun
overcunning, adjective
overcunningly, adverb
overcunningness, noun
quasi-cunning, adjective
quasi-cunningly, adverb


1. shrewdness, artfulness, wiliness, trickery, finesse, intrigue, slyness, deception. Cunning, artifice, craft imply an inclination toward deceit, slyness, and trickery. Cunning implies a shrewd, often instinctive skill in concealing or disguising the real purposes of one's actions: not intelligence but a low kind of cunning. An artifice is a clever, unscrupulous ruse, used to mislead others: a successful artifice to conceal one's motives. Craft suggests underhand methods and the use of deceptive devices and tricks to attain one's ends: craft and deceitfulness in every act. 2. adroitness. 3. ingenious, skillful. 4. artful, wily, tricky, foxy.
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Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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Collins
World English Dictionary
cunning (ˈkʌnɪŋ)
 
adj
1.  crafty and shrewd, esp in deception; sly: cunning as a fox
2.  made with or showing skill or cleverness; ingenious
 
n
3.  craftiness, esp in deceiving; slyness
4.  cleverness, skill, or ingenuity
 
[Old English cunnende; related to cunnan to know (see can1), cunnian to test, experience, Old Norse kunna to know]
 
'cunningly
 
adv
 
'cunningness
 
n

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
2009 © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
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Etymonline
Word Origin & History

cunning
early 14c., prp. of cunnen "to know" (see can (v.)). Originally meaning "learned;" the sense of "skillfully deceitful" is probably 14c.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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