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used in a sentence
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Definition being good at achieving goals through cleverness — and typically through deception as well (tricking others)

At one time, cunning was also used as a synonym for cute.
  • She came up with a cunning scheme to cheat him.
cunning = clever and deceitful
  • The worst mix — greedy, cunning, and without morals.
  • cunning = clever and deceitful
  • She is inexperienced and he is cunning.
  • But I am afraid that just as Eve was deceived by the serpent's cunning, your minds may somehow be led astray from your sincere and pure devotion to Christ.
    2 Corinthians 11:3 (NIV)
  • Then we will no longer be infants, tossed back and forth by the waves, and blown here and there by every wind of teaching and by the cunning and craftiness of men in their deceitful scheming.
    Ephesians 4:14 (NIV)
  • He became cunning; he had idle time in which to devote himself to thoughts of trickery.
    Jack London  --  White Fang
  • cunning = clever and deceptive
  •   Or perhaps in Slytherin
      You'll make your real friends,
      Those cunning folk use any means
      To achieve their ends.
    J.K. Rowling  --  Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone
  • cunning = clever and deceptive
  • He gave thanks to the gods for the cunning and strength that had caused him to defeat such an adversary.
    David Almond  --  Kit's Wilderness
  • cunning = cleverness
  • He got a cunning look, as if getting ready to offer a deal—the look men have when they fight with men instead of poor stupid animals.
    John Gardner  --  Grendel
  • cunning = clever and deceptive
  • Our peasants are hard and cunning when they bargain.
    Erich Maria Remarque  --  All Quiet on the Western Front
  • cunning = clever and deceptive
  • In the silence they feared some cunning devilry of his, but they could not sit there for ever.
    J.R.R. Tolkien  --  The Hobbit
  • cunning = cleverness and deception
  • And then she understood the devilish cunning of the enemies' plan.
    C.S. Lewis  --  The Last Battle
  • cunning = cleverness and deceit
  • I started for the Amazon to hunt jaguars, for I had heard they were unusually cunning.
    Richard Connell  --  The Most Dangerous Game
  • cunning = cleverness and deceptive
  • I have some sport in hand wherein your cunning can assist me much.
    William Shakespeare  --  The Taming of the Shrew
  • cunning = cleverness
  • He's twice as cunning as any one sane can be.
    Agatha Christie  --  And Then There Were None
  • cunning = clever and deceptive
  • The woman's eyes were fastened on her face with a cunning triumph.
    Elizabeth George Speare  --  The Witch of Blackbird Pond
  • cunning = clever
  • Books that were not of God were banished; they were a danger, powerful and irresistible in their cunning.
    Tara Westover  --  Educated
  • cunning = cleverness and deception
  • There wasn't a trace of cunning in May, and you could depend on her not to overthink her answers.
    Sue Monk Kidd  --  The Secret Life of Bees
  • cunning = cleverness in deception
  • It wasn't until he took up running, an activity that rewards will and determination more than finesse or cunning, that he found his athletic calling.
    Jon Krakauer  --  Into the Wild
  • cunning = cleverness
  • Nothing that happened in the world of the animals ever escaped his notice,— he was full of cunning.
    Chinua Achebe  --  Things Fall Apart
cunning = cleverness

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