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Definition cleverness in dealing with others — especially in business
  • a canny investor
  • a crew of canny thieves
  • Our people like it, and I think we are a pretty canny set.
    Louisa May Alcott  --  Eight Cousins
  • It's no canny to run frae London to the Black Sea wi' a wind ahint ye, as though the Deil himself were blawin' on yer sail for his ain purpose.
    Bram Stoker  --  Dracula
  • A cannier man might have argued even so, but Junior didn't have it in him and he changed the subject to the bathroom arrangements.
    Anne Tayler  --  A Spool of Blue Thread
  • This was a rather legalistic maneuver, but Phaedrus by this time had developed a kind of combative canniness.
    Robert M. Pirsig  --  Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance
  • Emma flashed a canny smile.
    Ransom Riggs  --  Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children
  • She'd seen him sidle up to women in public places to ask some delving question in his blank-faced canny way.
    Don DeLillo  --  White Noise
  • My wife was on all fours now, racing around the terminal as the frogs cannily stayed one hop ahead of her.
    John Grogan  --  Marley & Me
  • Is she got a reggiler big canny staw?
    Henry Roth  --  Call It Sleep
  • They figured if he had seen them he was a canny one, but they lay quiet, curious like squirrels.
    Louis L'Amour  --  The Broken Gun
  • Cannily, all Randy said was, "If you have Preacher's permission, it's all right with me.
    Pat Frank  --  Alas, Babylon
  • I battled him with all my strength and canniness about the game.
    Pat Conroy  --  The Lords of Discipline
  • That's what I want cannily to prevent.
    Henry James  --  The Portrait of a Lady - Volume 1
  • We shall get you off cannily, Dick: and it will be better, both for your sake, and for that of the poor creature in yonder.
    Charlotte Bronte  --  Jane Eyre
  • Hoots, but they're na canny.
    T. H. White  --  The Once and Future King
  • He had the canny self-assurance of an industry maverick, the outsider who tries to roil the works, japing every complacent rule of belief.
    Don DeLillo  --  Underworld
  • That's what I want cannily to prevent.
    Henry James  --  The Portrait of a Lady - Volumes 1 & 2
  • There was a kind of quiet wisdom or canniness there, no doubt of that.
    V.S. Naipaul  --  A Bend in the River
  • When all was silent, he smiled a canny smile and spoke in his deepest down-home southern drawl.
    Russell Baker  --  Growing Up

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