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Definition of 'cunning'

Clever, shrewd, and skilled at using wit or deceit to achieve their goals.
"The cunning fox outsmarted the pursuing hounds and escaped into the forest."

Detailed Meaning of 'cunning'

It implies a high level of intelligence combined with a keen ability to strategize and manipulate situations to one's advantage. A cunning individual possesses a quick and resourceful mind, often using their intelligence to outsmart others and achieve desired outcomes. This adjective is often associated with slyness, craftiness, and an ability to navigate complex situations with skillful maneuvering. However, it is important to note that cunning can have both positive and negative connotations, depending on the context. While it can indicate sharpness of mind and astuteness, it can also suggest a tendency towards deviousness or trickery. Overall, the adjective "cunning" describes someone or something that is highly adept at using their intelligence and wits to achieve their objectives, often employing strategies and tactics that are clever and calculated.


Examples of 'cunning' in a Sentence

1. The detective admired the cunning tactics used by the mastermind criminal to execute the perfect heist.
2. With cunning precision, the chess grandmaster maneuvered her pieces to checkmate her opponent.
3. The cunning businessman negotiated a deal that benefited him greatly while leaving his competitors at a disadvantage.
4. She used her cunning charm and persuasive skills to convince others to support her cause.
5. The cunning magician performed mind-boggling tricks that left the audience in awe.
6. The cunning cat quietly stalked its prey before pouncing with lightning speed.

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Origins & Etymology of 'cunning'

The adjective 'cunning' has an intriguing etymology that leads us to the Old English word 'cunnan,' which meant 'to know' or 'to be able to.' Over time, this term evolved to encompass not only the idea of knowledge but also the skill and cleverness that come with it. The connection between knowing and cleverness reflects the concept that a cunning individual possesses knowledge and the ability to use it cleverly, whether for honest or deceptive purposes. The etymology of 'cunning' underscores its historical link to intelligence, shrewdness, and the ability to employ wit and strategy to achieve one's goals, whether those goals are admirable or crafty in nature.

How to pronounce cunning (audio)


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