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cunning
used in Moby Dick

16 uses
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Definition
being good at achieving goals through cleverness and trickery
  • Human madness is oftentimes a cunning and most feline thing.
    Chapters 40-42 -- Midnight, Forecastle; Moby Dick; The Whiteness of the Whale (49% in)
  • ...parts in high tragedies, and short and easy parts in genteel comedies, and jolly parts in farces—though I cannot tell why this was exactly; yet, now that I recall all the circumstances, I think I can see a little into the springs and motives which being cunningly presented to me under various disguises, induced me to set about performing the part I did, besides cajoling me into the delusion that it was a choice resulting from my own unbiased freewill and discriminating judgment.
    Chapters 1-3 -- Loomings; The Carpet-Bag; The Spouter-Inn (21% in)
  • Yet as of late the Sperm Whale fishery had been marked by various and not unfrequent instances of great ferocity, cunning, and malice in the monster attacked; therefore it was, that those who by accident ignorantly gave battle to Moby Dick; such hunters, perhaps, for the most part, were content to ascribe the peculiar terror he bred, more, as it were, to the perils of the Sperm Whale fishery at large, than to the individual cause.
    Chapters 40-42 -- Midnight, Forecastle; Moby Dick; The Whiteness of the Whale (22% in)
  • O Nature, and O soul of man! how far beyond all utterance are your linked analogies! not the smallest atom stirs or lives on matter, but has its cunning duplicate in mind.
    Chapters 70-72 -- The Sphynx; The Jeroboam's Story; The Monkey-Rope (18% in)
  • A strange, apostolic whim having seized him, he had left Neskyeuna for Nantucket, where, with that cunning peculiar to craziness, he assumed a steady, common-sense exterior, and offered himself as a green-hand candidate for the Jeroboam's whaling voyage.
    Chapters 70-72 -- The Sphynx; The Jeroboam's Story; The Monkey-Rope (32% in)
  • Every one knows that by the peculiar cunning of their gills, the finny tribes in general breathe the air which at all times is combined with the element in which they swim; hence, a herring or a cod might live a century, and never once raise its head above the surface.
    Chapters 85-87 -- The Fountain; The Tail; The Grand Armada (2% in)
  • Whereupon Stubb quickly pulled to the floating body, and hailing the Pequod to give notice of his intentions, at once proceeded to reap the fruit of his unrighteous cunning.
    Chapters 91-93 -- The Pequod Meets The Rose-Bud; Ambergris; The Castaway (43% in)
  • So, though in the clear air of day, suspended against a blue-veined neck, the pure-watered diamond drop will healthful glow; yet, when the cunning jeweller would show you the diamond in its most impressive lustre, he lays it against a gloomy ground, and then lights it up, not by the sun, but by some unnatural gases.
    Chapters 91-93 -- The Pequod Meets The Rose-Bud; Ambergris; The Castaway (77% in)
  • Yet, as the ever-woven verdant warp and woof intermixed and hummed around him, the mighty idler seemed the cunning weaver; himself all woven over with the vines; every month assuming greener, fresher verdure; but himself a skeleton.
    Chapters 100-102 -- The Pequod meets….; The Decanter; A Bower in the Arsacides (89% in)
  • And this it was, this same unaccountable, cunning life-principle in him; this it was, that kept him a great part of the time soliloquizing; but only like an unreasoning wheel, which also hummingly soliloquizes; or rather, his body was a sentry-box and this soliloquizer on guard there, and talking all the time to keep himself awake.
    Chapters 106-108 -- Ahab's Leg; The Carpenter; Ahab and the Carpenter (56% in)
  • But one night, under cover of darkness, and further concealed in a most cunning disguisement, a desperate burglar slid into his happy home, and robbed them all of everything.
    Chapters 112-114 -- The Blacksmith; The Forge; The Gilder (15% in)
  • Then gazing at his quadrant, and handling, one after the other, its numerous cabalistical contrivances, he pondered again, and muttered: "Foolish toy! babies' plaything of haughty Admirals, and Commodores, and Captains; the world brags of thee, of thy cunning and might; but what after all canst thou do, but tell the poor, pitiful point, where thou thyself happenest to be on this wide planet, and the hand that holds thee: no! not one jot more!
    Chapters 118-120 -- The Quadrant; The Candles; The Deck (13% in)
  • The life-buoy—a long slender cask—was dropped from the stern, where it always hung obedient to a cunning spring; but no hand rose to seize it, and the sun having long beat upon this cask it had shrunken, so that it slowly filled, and that parched wood also filled at its every pore; and the studded iron-bound cask followed the sailor to the bottom, as if to yield him his pillow, though in sooth but a hard one.
    Chapters 124-126 -- The Needle; The Log and Line; The Life-Buoy (78% in)
  • But with his gaze fixed upon the dim and distant horizon, Ahab seemed not to mark this wild bird; nor, indeed, would any one else have marked it much, it being no uncommon circumstance; only now almost the least heedful eye seemed to see some sort of cunning meaning in almost every sight.
    Chapters 130-132 -- The Hat; The Pequod meets the Delight; The Symphony (42% in)
  • There's a most special, a most cunning, oh, a most malicious difference!
    Chapters 133-135 -- The Chase--First Day; The Chase--Second Day; The Chase--Third Day (64% in)
  • Till, gaining that vital centre, the black bubble upward burst; and now, liberated by reason of its cunning spring, and, owing to its great buoyancy, rising with great force, the coffin life-buoy shot lengthwise from the sea, fell over, and floated by my side.
    Epilogue (62% in)

There are no more uses of "cunning" in Moby Dick.

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