Roget's Thesaurus: Entry 702 (Cunning)

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#702. Cunning. -- N. cunning, craft; cunningness[obs], craftiness &c. adj.; subtlety, artificiality; maneuvering &c. v.; temporization; circumvention.

chicane, chicanery; sharp practice, knavery, jugglery[obs]; concealment &c. 528; guile, doubling, duplicity &c. (falsehood) 544; foul play.

diplomacy, politics; Machiavelism; jobbery, backstairs influence.

art, artifice; device, machination; plot &c. (plan) 626; maneuver, stratagem, dodge, sidestep, artful dodge, wile; trick, trickery &c. (deception) 545; ruse, ruse de guerre[Fr]; finesse, side blow, thin end of the wedge, shift, go by, subterfuge, evasion; white lie &c (untruth) 546; juggle, tour de force; tricks of the trade, tricks upon travelers; espieglerie[Fr]; net, trap &c. 545.

Ulysses, Machiavel, sly boots, fox, reynard; Scotchman; Jew, Yankee; intriguer, intrigant[obs]; floater [U.S.], Indian giver [U.S.], keener [U.S.], repeater [U.S. politics].

V. be cunning &c. adj.; have cut one's eyeteeth; contrive &c (plan) 626; live by one's wits; maneuver; intrigue, gerrymander, finesse, double, temporize, stoop to conquer, reculer pour mieux sauter[Fr], circumvent, steal a march upon; overreach &c. 545; throw off one's guard; surprise &c. 508; snatch a verdict; waylay, undermine, introduce the thin end of the wedge; play a deep game, play tricks with; ambiguas in vulgum spargere voces[Lat]; flatter, make things pleasant; have an ax to grind.

dodge, sidestep, bob and weave.

Adj. cunning, crafty, artful; skillful &c. 698; subtle, feline, vulpine; cunning as a fox, cunning as a serpent; deep, deep laid; profound; designing, contriving; intriguing &c.v.; strategic, diplomatic, politic, Machiavelian, timeserving[obs]; artificial; tricky, tricksy[obs]; wily, sly, slim, insidious, stealthy; underhand &c (hidden) 528; subdolous[obs]; deceitful &c. 545; slippery as an eel, evasive &c. 623; crooked; arch, pawky[obs], shrewd, acute; sharp, sharp as a tack, sharp as a needle|!; canny, astute, leery, knowing, up to snuff, too clever by half, not to be caught with chaff.

tactful, diplomatic, politic; polite &c. 894.

Adv. cunningly &c. adj.; slyly, slily[obs], on the sly, by a side wind.

Phr. diamond cut diamond; a' bis ou a blanc[Fr][obs]; fin contre fin[Fr]; "something is rotten in the state of Denmark" [Hamlet].