What does cunning mean?

Definitions for cunning
ˈkʌn ɪŋcun·ning

Here are all the possible meanings and translations of the word cunning.

Princeton's WordNet

  1. craft, craftiness, cunning, foxiness, guile, slyness, wilinessnoun

    shrewdness as demonstrated by being skilled in deception

  2. cunningadjective

    crafty artfulness (especially in deception)

  3. cunning, cuteadjective

    attractive especially by means of smallness or prettiness or quaintness

    "a cute kid with pigtails"; "a cute little apartment"; "cunning kittens"; "a cunning baby"

  4. crafty, cunning, dodgy, foxy, guileful, knavish, slick, sly, tricksy, tricky, wilyadjective

    marked by skill in deception

    "cunning men often pass for wise"; "deep political machinations"; "a foxy scheme"; "a slick evasive answer"; "sly as a fox"; "tricky Dick"; "a wily old attorney"

  5. clever, cunning, ingeniousadjective

    showing inventiveness and skill

    "a clever gadget"; "the cunning maneuvers leading to his success"; "an ingenious solution to the problem"

Webster Dictionary

  1. Cunningadjective

    knowing; skillful; dexterous

    Etymology: [AS. cunnung trial, or Icel. kunnandi knowledge. See Cunning, a.]

  2. Cunningadjective

    wrought with, or exhibiting, skill or ingenuity; ingenious; curious; as, cunning work

    Etymology: [AS. cunnung trial, or Icel. kunnandi knowledge. See Cunning, a.]

  3. Cunningadjective

    crafty; sly; artful; designing; deceitful

    Etymology: [AS. cunnung trial, or Icel. kunnandi knowledge. See Cunning, a.]

  4. Cunningadjective

    pretty or pleasing; as, a cunning little boy

    Etymology: [AS. cunnung trial, or Icel. kunnandi knowledge. See Cunning, a.]

  5. Cunningadjective

    knowledge; art; skill; dexterity

    Etymology: [AS. cunnung trial, or Icel. kunnandi knowledge. See Cunning, a.]

  6. Cunningadjective

    the faculty or act of using stratagem to accomplish a purpose; fraudulent skill or dexterity; deceit; craft

    Etymology: [AS. cunnung trial, or Icel. kunnandi knowledge. See Cunning, a.]


  1. Cunning

    Cunning was a Japanese comedy duo from Fukuoka Prefecture. Cunning consisted of the pudgy, short-tempered Takanori Takeyama, and the rail-thin Tadayuki Nakashima. Known for his bursts of extreme anger, though said to be much more sedated off-camera, Takeyama is the boke of the unit. The tsukkomi, Nakashima, fell ill with leukemia in 2005 and took indefinite leave from work until his death from pneumonia on December 20, 2006, aged 35. The name of the duo, cunning, while meaning "sly" or "clever" in English, refers to the act of cheating on a test in Japanese.

Chambers 20th Century Dictionary

  1. Cunning

    kun′ing, adj. knowing: skilful: artful: crafty.—n. knowledge: skill: faculty of using stratagem to accomplish a purpose: artifice.—adv. Cunn′ingly.—n. Cunn′ingness, quality of being cunning: artfulness, slyness. [A.S. cunnan, to know.]

Editors Contribution

  1. cunning


    Submitted by raulesparza6634 on September 23, 2019  

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How to pronounce cunning?

How to say cunning in sign language?


  1. Chaldean Numerology

    The numerical value of cunning in Chaldean Numerology is: 1

  2. Pythagorean Numerology

    The numerical value of cunning in Pythagorean Numerology is: 1

Examples of cunning in a Sentence

  1. Samuel Johnson:

    Every man wishes to be wise, and they who cannot be wise are almost always cunning.

  2. Sheldon Adelson:

    He's extremely clever, and I think he's so clever and cunning he should be a fictional book writer.

  3. Vikrant Parsai:

    A man one year elder to you is one cunning year elder to you.

  4. Tatyana Omelchenko:

    They don't love us here. They think we do all these bad things, that we are cunning and wicked, there is definitely an anti-Russian atmosphere. We don't think it, we feel it.

  5. Mwanandeke Kindembo:

    The devil may seem clever and cunning, but he is still a creature of God. Therefore, God must take all the credits, both good and bad. But that means nothing to Him.

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Translations for cunning

From our Multilingual Translation Dictionary

  • изкусен, коварен, лукав, сръчност, сръчен, лукавство, коварство, умениеBulgarian
  • murri, astutCatalan, Valencian
  • geschickt, gewandt, schlau, Gerissenheit, listig, gerissenGerman
  • ruzaEsperanto
  • astutoSpanish
  • مکار, حیله گری, رندPersian
  • taitava, kierous, kiero, taitavuus, ovela, oveluusFinnish
  • sournoiserie, fourberie, rusé, talentueuxFrench
  • glicIrish
  • seòltaScottish Gaelic
  • csalafinta, cseles, alattomos, ravasz, ügyes, dörzsöltHungarian
  • խորամանկArmenian
  • furberia, astuto, furbo, ingegnoso, furbiziaItalian
  • עַרמוּמִיHebrew
  • 狡猾, 巧妙Japanese
  • 교활한Korean
  • callidusLatin
  • geslepen, bedreven, list en bedrog, handig, doortrapt, sluwheid, leep, sluw, kundigheidDutch
  • snedighetNorwegian
  • sprytnyPolish
  • astuto, espertoPortuguese
  • priceput, viclean, capacitate, șiret, viclenieRomanian
  • умение, коварный, хитрость, искусный, пронырливый, ловкий, хитрый, лукавый, дошлый, коварство, умелый, искусствоRussian
  • prefíkaný, chytrý, mazanýSlovak
  • listig, slug, slughet, listSwedish
  • కపటము, నేర్పరి, తరహాTelugu
  • ฉลาดแกมโกงThai
  • khéo léoVietnamese

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    relating to or concerned with a city or densely populated area
    • A. cosmopolitan
    • B. urban
    • C. brilliant
    • D. transparent

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