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cunning

Definitions

  • Horseman Very Cunningly Vanquished--2-25-192
    Horseman Very Cunningly Vanquished--2-25-192
  • WordNet 3.6
    • adj cunning showing inventiveness and skill "a clever gadget","the cunning maneuvers leading to his success","an ingenious solution to the problem"
    • adj cunning 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"
    • adj cunning attractive especially by means of smallness or prettiness or quaintness "a cute kid with pigtails","a cute little apartment","cunning kittens","a cunning baby"
    • n cunning crafty artfulness (especially in deception)
    • n cunning shrewdness as demonstrated by being skilled in deception
    • ***
Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
    • Cunning Crafty; sly; artful; designing; deceitful. "They are resolved to be cunning ; let others run the hazard of being sincere."
    • Cunning Knowing; skillful; dexterous. "A cunning workman.""“Tis beauty truly blent, whose red and white
      Nature's own sweet and cunning hand laid on."
      "Esau was a cunning hunter."
    • Cunning Knowledge; art; skill; dexterity. "Let my right hand forget her cunning .""A carpenter's desert
      Stands more in cunning than in power."
    • Cunning Pretty or pleasing; as, a cunning little boy.
    • Cunning The faculty or act of using stratagem to accomplish a purpose; fraudulent skill or dexterity; deceit; craft. "Discourage cunning in a child; cunning is the ape of wisdom.""We take cunning for a sinister or crooked wisdom."
    • Cunning Wrought with, or exhibiting, skill or ingenuity; ingenious; curious; as, cunning work. "Over them Arachne high did lift""Her cunning web."
    • ***
Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
    • n cunning Knowledge; learning; special knowledge: sometimes implying occult or magical knowledge.
    • n cunning Practical knowledge or experience; skill; dexterity.
    • n cunning Practical skill employed in a secret or crafty manner; craft; artifice; skilful deceit.
    • n cunning Disposition to employ one's skill in an artful manner; craftiness; guile; artifice.
    • n cunning The natural wit or instincts of an animal: as, the cunning of the fox or hare. Synonyms and Craft, craftiness, shrewdness, subtlety, finesse, duplicity, intrigue, guile.
    • cunning Knowing; having knowledge; learned; having or concerned with special or strange knowledge, and hence sometimes with an implication of magical or supernatural knowledge. See cunning-man, cunning-woman.
    • cunning Having knowledge acquired by experience or practice; having technical knowledge and manual skill; skilful; dexterous.
    • cunning Exhibiting or wrought with ingenuity; skilful; curious; ingenious.
    • cunning Characterized by or exercising crafty ingenuity; artfully subtle or shrewd; knowing in guile; guileful; tricky.
    • cunning Marked by crafty ingenuity; showing shrewdness or guile; expressive of subtlety: as, a cunning deception; cunning looks.
    • cunning Curiously or quaintly attractive; subtly interesting; piquant: commonly used of something small or young: as, the cunning ways of a child or a pet animal.
    • cunning Synonyms Cunning, Artful, Sly, Subtle, Shrewd, Tricky, Adroit, Wily, Crafty, Intriguing, sharp, foxy. All these words suggest something underhand or deceptive. Cunning, literally knowing, and especially knowing how, now implies a disposition to compass one's ends by concealment; hence we speak of a fox-like cunning. Artful indicates greater ingenuity and ability, the latter, however, being of a low kind. Sly is the same as cunning, except that it is more vulgar and implies less ability. (“A col-fox, ful of sleigh iniquité.” Chaucer, Nun's Priest's Tale, l. 395.) (“Envy works in a sly, imperceptible manner.” Watts.) Subtle implies concealment, like cunning, but also a marked ability and the power to work out one's plans without being suspected; hence, while cunning is applicable to brutes, subtle is too high a word for that, except by figurative use. The rabbit is cunning enough to hide from the dog; Mephistopheles is subtle. (For the favorable meanings of subtle, see astute. For the good senses of shrewd, see acute.) In its unfavorable aspects shrewd implies a penetration and judgment that are somewhat narrow and worldly-wise, too much so to deserve the name of sagacity or wisdom. (See astute.) Tricky is especially a word of action; it expresses the character and conduct of one who gets the confidence of others only to abuse it by acts of selfishness, especially cheating. Adroit, in a bad sense, expresses a ready and skilful use of trickery, or facility in performing and escaping detection of reprehensihle acts. (See adroit.) Wily is appropriate where a person is viewed as an opponent in real or figurative warfare, against whom wiles or stratagems are employed: a wily adversary is one who is full of such devices; a wily politician is one who is notably given to advancing party interests by leading the opposite side to commit blunders, etc. A crafty man has less ability than a subtle man, and works more by deception or knavery than the shrewd man; he is more active than the cunning man, and more steadily active than the sly man; he is on the moral level of the trickish man. Intriguing is applied where the plots are secret arrangements made with others, perhaps against a third party, and especially of a complicated character.
    • n cunning A variant of cony.
    • n cunning The river-lamprey.
    • ***
Chambers's Twentieth Century Dictionary
    • adj Cunning kun′ing knowing: skilful: artful: crafty
    • n Cunning knowledge: skill: faculty of using stratagem to accomplish a purpose: artifice
    • ***

Quotations

  • Titus Maccius Plautus
    Titus%20Maccius%20Plautus
    “This is the great fault of wine; it first trips up the feet: it is a cunning wrestler.”
  • Iris Murdoch
    Iris%20Murdoch
    “Art is the final cunning of the human soul which would rather do anything than face the gods.”
  • William Blake
    William%20Blake
    “The weak in courage is strong in cunning.”
  • Carl Sandburg
    Carl%20Sandburg
    “The greatest cunning is to have none at all.”
  • Francois De La Rochefoucauld
    Francois%20De%20La%20Rochefoucauld
    “The sure way to be cheated is to think one's self more cunning than others.”
  • Alexander Pope
    Alexander%20Pope
    “Many people are capable of doing a wise thing, more a cunning thing, but very few a generous thing.”

Etymology

Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
AS. cunnung, trial, or Icel. kunnandi, knowledge. See Cunning (a.)

Usage

In literature:

For in these places you must be as cunning as the Rats to catch them.
"Full Revelations of a Professional Rat-catcher After 25 Years' Experience" by Ike Matthews
He realized that in this woman there was much will, perhaps much cunning, and that she was a past mistress in the art of reading men.
"Bella Donna" by Robert Hichens
His face became a masterpiece of secrecy and cunning.
"Boy Woodburn" by Alfred Ollivant
In the shelter of white bookcases, the backs of volumes in red and tawny and brown gave the effect of tapestry cunningly woven.
"The Best Short Stories of 1921 and the Yearbook of the American Short Story" by Various
I think even May will own that it has a cunning little head.
"The Insect Folk" by Margaret Warner Morley
The Syndic did not doubt; the bait had been dangled before his eyes with too much cunning, too much skill.
"The Long Night" by Stanley Weyman
I tell you this is a deep an' cunning gang we've got to fight.
"Jack Haydon's Quest" by John Finnemore
Loki was beautiful, and possessed of great knowledge and cunning.
"The Mysteries of All Nations" by James Grant
AND PLUCK WIN AGAINST SCHEMES AND CUNNING.
"Cad Metti, The Female Detective Strategist" by Harlan Page Halsey
Cunning, but as devilish as it is cunning!
"The Cave of Gold" by Everett McNeil
Behold us entrapped, as a wolf is entrapped by a cunning hunter.
"Traditions of the North American Indians, Vol. 3 (of 3)" by James Athearn Jones
Frank was eager to be off again with old Memotas to see the result of the new method, to him, of trap-setting for a cunning old fox.
"Winter Adventures of Three Boys" by Egerton R. Young
Humans might, but cows is too cunning.
"Cutlass and Cudgel" by George Manville Fenn
Cunning Johnny had made it as cunning as he could.
"The House with the Green Shutters" by George Douglas Brown
Wyandots small nation, but bravest, most cunning and most enduring of all.
"The Riflemen of the Ohio" by Joseph A. Altsheler
Tea is bejuggled first by John Chinaman, who is a very cunning rascal; and second, by the seller here.
"The Humbugs of the World" by P. T. Barnum
Name, cunning stranger, name this tender pair.
"Turandot, Princess of China" by Karl Gustav Vollmöller
It was plain enough that for some reason the man hated Oliver, but, cunning as Fagin was, he would never have guessed why.
"Tales from Dickens" by Charles Dickens and Hallie Erminie Rives
Our own crow has great cunning, but it is only cunning.
"Ways of Nature" by John Burroughs
Oh, she is cunning, your Madame la Marechale!
"The Missourian" by Eugene P. (Eugene Percy) Lyle
***

In poetry:

"To more than savage strength he joins
A more than human skill;
For arms, ne cunning may suffice
His cruel rage to still."
"Valentine and Ursine" by Anonymous British
The haughty eye shall seek in vain
What innocence beholds;
No cunning finds the key of heaven,
No strength its gate unfolds.
"Child-Songs" by John Greenleaf Whittier
Talking of waving meadows
And cunningly-hidden brooks,
With the quietest gush of eddies
That the flowers may see their looks:
"He Came From A Land" by Alexander Anderson
The sergeant had a cunning e'e,
An' sune saw thro' the wile—
Quo' he, "The man's gane oot his min'
An' maun be left awhile."
"Ballad of The Monkland Cottar" by Janet Hamilton
The Lord he gazed in Jenny's eyes,
He looked her through and through:
The cunning woman's prophecies
Were clearly coming true.
"The Cunning Woman" by William Schwenck Gilbert
Small, flitting hands a handkerchief
Spread like a cunning trap:
Prone lay the gorgeous jewel-sheaf
In the glory-gleaner's lap!
"The Prism" by George MacDonald

In news:

From left, Jane Rabeni, Heather Foote, Gail Fitzgerald, Bill McKenzie, Dell McMillan and John Cunning play the bagpipes and drums at the first Kirkin ' o' the Tartan event Sunday at First Presbyterian Church.
At the close of Lunatic Cunning, his pleasantly oddball show at Dixon Place, James Godwin does all on his own, with just a twist of his wrist.
Although quite cunning, Samson's (Perfect Lives) central characters often succumb to an unexpected fate in this equally haunting and satisfying collection of linked stories.
The latest literary sensation in Tehran is a thriller about Iran's nuclear program that is laden with espionage, cunning and political murder.
A cunning abortion debate in the afterlife.
To stay ahead in the ever-quickening world of research, scientists must be fast and cunning.
The members of Rush always have a cunning way of speaking subtly on larger subjects, whether it's with their lyrics or the way they conduct themselves.
These cunning members of the canine family are experts at problem-solving and adaptation.
From left, Jane Rabeni, Heather Foote, Gail Fitzgerald, Bill McKenzie, Dell McMillan and John Cunning play the bagpipes and drums at the first Kirkin' o' the Tartan event Sunday at First Presbyterian Church.
Scott Parkinson may be only 29, but he deserves a lifetime achievement award for his portrayal of Richard III in Shakespeare on the Green's current production--most actors need a lifetime to achieve this level of sophistication and cunning.
Thursday night at a well-attended, two-hour show at the Bradley Center, Dunham and his puppet menagerie displayed a cunning wit and deft talent, proving that at least his brand of ventriloquism can work in an arena-size venue.
He denied the claim and called on North Koreans to stand their ground against the "cunning" critics.
In most fairy tales, they are cunning, hungry man-killers.
Nicki Minaj cunningly avoided another Nipplegate scandal when she performed in Manchester, England on Tuesday (Oct 22) as part of the Pink Friday: Reloaded UK tour.
COLUMBIA – With a disease as cunning and aggressive as AIDS, researcher Stefan Sarafianos always has to worry about the next development.
***

In science:

Mrˇcun, The Hopf algebroids of functions on ´etale groupoids and their principal Morita equivalence. J.
Cyclic Cohomology of Corings
Mrˇcun, On isomorphisms of algebras of smooth functions, Proc.
Isomorphisms of algebras of Colombeau generalized functions
Then, Cun−1 un is equal to the product of the random variables assigned to edges of the path connecting v0 to un = u.
Random environment on coloured trees
Mrˇcun, On integrability of infinitesimal actions, Amer. J.
AV-Courant algebroids and generalized CR structures
E[|{x ∈ V : x is c3 -proper under ξu}|] ≥ cun.
Giant vacant component left by a random walk in a random d-regular graph
Mrˇcun, Introduction to Foliation and Lie Groupoids, Cambridge studies in advanced mathematics, Vol. 91, 2003.
Applications of Polyfold Theory I: The Polyfolds of Gromov-Witten Theory
Debido a la aparición de la inteligencia artificial, se han propuesto varios tipos de evaluaciones para tratar de comprobar (en algunos casos) cuán inteligentes son estas máquinas, y (en otros) si su inteligencia es comparable a la de los humanos.
Analysis of first prototype universal intelligence tests: evaluating and comparing AI algorithms and humans
En este artículo se ofrecía también una solución a un problema del test de Turing, el cual consistía en que únicamente era capaz de obtener un valor binario de si la máquina parece o no una persona y no un valor numérico que nos indique cuán humanas parecen.
Analysis of first prototype universal intelligence tests: evaluating and comparing AI algorithms and humans
Simard, P. Y., Le Cun, Y. A. and Denker, J. S. (1993). Efficient pattern recognition using a new transformation distance.
Prototype selection for interpretable classification
On the cunning power of cheating verifiers: Some observations about zero knowledge proofs.
A New Look at Composition of Authenticated Byzantine Generals
Cun-Quan Zhang, Integer flows and cycle covers of graphs, Monographs and Textbooks in Pure and Applied Mathematics, vol. 205, Marcel Dekker Inc., New York, 1997.
Generation and Properties of Snarks
Henry Stapp1 has sub jected the strange quantum correlations discovered by Lucien Hardy2 to a cunning logical analysis.
Nonlocal character of quantum theory?
These dwarfs are visible; why should similar primeval halos in the voids be so cunningly hidden? If void phenomena ruled out the CDM model we could turn to alternatives.
Concluding Remarks on New Cosmological Data and the Values of the Fundamental Parameters
Mrˇcun: On integrability of infinitesimal actions, Amer. J.
Integrability of Jacobi structures
Moerdijk I., Mrˇcun J., Introduction to foliations and Lie groupoids, Cambridge Studies in Advanced Mathematics, Vol. 91, Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, 2003.
Poisson Manifolds, Lie Algebroids, Modular Classes: a Survey
***