Meaning of “cunning” in the English Dictionary

"cunning" in British English

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cunningadjective

uk /ˈkʌn.ɪŋ/ us /ˈkʌn.ɪŋ/

cunning adjective (CLEVER)

C2 Cunning people 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.
cunningly
adverb uk /ˈkʌn.ɪŋ.li/ us /ˈkʌn.ɪŋ.li/

cunningnoun [ U ]

uk /ˈkʌn.ɪŋ/ us /ˈkʌn.ɪŋ/

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 defeat the enemy.

(Definition of “cunning” from the Cambridge Advanced Learner’s Dictionary & Thesaurus © Cambridge University Press)

"cunning" in American English

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cunningadjective

us /ˈkʌn·ɪŋ/

skillful in planning and ready to deceive people in order to get what you want:

a cunning scheme
cunning
noun [ U ] us /ˈkʌn·ɪŋ/

They made their way safely back through enemy territory by stealth and cunning.

(Definition of “cunning” from the Cambridge Academic Content Dictionary © Cambridge University Press)