cunning

In fairy tales, always watch out for the cunning fox or the cunning witch. Cunning means clever, in the sense of trickery. A cunning plan might involve setting traps for the innocent and pure at heart to fall into.

This adjective goes back to the 14th century English verb cunnen, which meant "to know," and is actually related to our English verb know. In earlier times, the noun was used to mean a high level of skill in using the hands. You can be cunning, but you can also use your cunning to figure out a very clever and tricky plan.

PRIMARY MEANINGS OF: cunning

1
adjn
showing inventiveness and skill
crafty artfulness (especially in deception)
2
adj
attractive especially by means of smallness or prettiness or quaintness
FULL DEFINITIONS OF: cunning
1

adj showing inventiveness and skill

“the cunning maneuvers leading to his success”
Synonyms:
clever, ingenious
adroit
quick or skillful or adept in action or thought

adj marked by skill in deception

cunning men often pass for wise”
Synonyms:
crafty, dodgy, foxy, guileful, knavish, slick, sly, tricksy, tricky, wily
artful
marked by skill in achieving a desired end especially with cunning or craft

n crafty artfulness (especially in deception)

Type of:
artfulness
the quality of being adroit in taking unfair advantage

n shrewdness as demonstrated by being skilled in deception

Synonyms:
craft, craftiness, foxiness, guile, slyness, wiliness
Type of:
astuteness, perspicaciousness, perspicacity, shrewdness
intelligence manifested by being astute (as in business dealings)
2

adj attractive especially by means of smallness or prettiness or quaintness

cunning kittens”
“a cunning baby”
Synonyms:
cute
attractive
pleasing to the eye or mind especially through beauty or charm
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