Cambridge Dictionaries online Cambridge Dictionaries online

The most popular online dictionary and thesaurus for learners of English

English definition of “cunning”

cunning

adjective uk   /ˈkʌn.ɪŋ/ us  

cunning adjective (CLEVER)

C2 describes people who are clever at planning something so that they get what they want, especially by tricking other people, or things that are cleverly made for a particular purpose: a cunning plan/ploy He's a very cunning man.

cunning adjective (ATTRACTIVE)

US old-fashioned pretty and attractive: a cunning little child/puppy/kitten
cunningly
adverb uk   /-li/ us  

cunning

noun [U] uk   /ˈkʌn.ɪŋ/ us  
the quality or skill of being clever at planning something so you get what you want, especially by tricking other people: We need to show some cunning if we want to trick the enemy.
(Definition of cunning from the Cambridge Advanced Learners Dictionary & Thesaurus © Cambridge University Press)
What is the pronunciation of cunning?
Add Cambridge dictionaries to your browser to your website

Definitions of “cunning” in other dictionaries

Word of the Day

monster

any imaginary frightening creature, especially one that is large and strange

Word of the Day

What’s that lovely smell?

by Kate Woodford,
October 29, 2014
As adult humans, we can distinguish about 10,000 different smells. It’s no wonder, then, that we have so many words and expressions to describe them. This week we’re taking a look at those smell words – words that describe good smells and words that describe bad smells. Most smell words are either

Read More 

high-frequency trading noun

October 27, 2014
a type of stock market trading that uses very complex technology to trade extremely quickly, often making tiny profits which nevertheless add up to substantial sums Lewis’s book, Flash Boys, is driving a huge amount of attention toward the topic of high frequency trading, and it has rekindled some of

Read More