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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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British Dictionary definitions for overcanny

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 overcanny
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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