follow Dictionary.com

What's the "een" in Halloween?

cunning

[kuhn-ing] /ˈkʌn ɪŋ/
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
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)
Related forms
cunningly, adverb
cunningness, noun
overcunning, adjective
overcunningly, adverb
overcunningness, noun
quasi-cunning, adjective
quasi-cunningly, adverb
Synonyms
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.
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
Cite This Source
British Dictionary definitions for overcunning

cunning

/ˈkʌnɪŋ/
adjective
1.
crafty and shrewd, esp in deception; sly: cunning as a fox
2.
made with or showing skill or cleverness; ingenious
noun
3.
craftiness, esp in deceiving; slyness
4.
cleverness, skill, or ingenuity
Derived Forms
cunningly, adverb
cunningness, noun
Word Origin
Old English cunnende; related to cunnan to know (see can1), cunnian to test, experience, Old Norse kunna to know
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
Cite This Source
Word Origin and History for overcunning

cunning

adj.

early 14c., "learned, skillful," present participle of cunnen "to know" (see can (v.1)). Sense of "skillfully deceitful" is probably late 14c. As a noun from c.1300. Related: Cunningly.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
Cite This Source

Word of the Day

Word Value for overcunning

0
0
Scrabble Words With Friends