CUNNING, a. G. See Can.
1. Knowing; skillful; experienced; well-instructed. It is applied to all kinds of knowledge, but generally and appropriately, to the skill and dexterity of artificers, or the knowledge acquired by experience.
Esau was a cunning hunter. Genesis 23.
I will take away the cunning artificer. Isaiah 3.
A cunning workman. Exodus 38.
2. Wrought with skill; curious; ingenious.
With cherubs of cunning work shalt thou make them. Exodus 26.
The foregoing senses occur frequently in our version of the scriptures, but are nearly or quite obsolete.
3. Artful; shrewd; sly; crafty; astute; designing; as a cunning fellow.
They are resolved to be cunning; let others run the hazard of being sincere.
In this sense, the purpose or final end of the person may not be illaudalbe; but cunning implies the use of artifice to accomplish the purpose, rather than open, candid, or direct means. Hence,
4. Deceitful; trickish; employing stratagems for a bad purpose.
5. Assumed with subtilty; artful.
Accounting his integrity to be but a cunning face of falsehood.
1. Knowledge; art; skill; dexterity.
Let my right hand forget her cunning. Psalm 137.
2. Art; artifice; artfulness; craft; shrewdness; the faculty or act of using stratagem to accomplish a purpose. Hence in a bad sense, deceitfulness or deceit; fraudulent skill or dexterity.
Discourage cunning in a child; cunning is the ape of wisdom.