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Crossword clues for canny

Longman Dictionary of Contemporary English
▪ Pete Chambers is a canny fellow. Not one to miss an opportunity.
▪ Robinson has benefited from some canny marketing.
▪ She's far too canny to keep her money in this country. She's got it safely hidden away in Switzerland, I expect.
▪ As always, the Liberals try to have it both ways, but they are up against canny farmers.
▪ He had real charm, which made canny figures such as Tolkien distrust him.
▪ If nothing else, Annaud proves himself a canny casting director with this movie.
▪ Nerve cells, canny little things, recycle their neurotransmitters.
▪ Perhaps a canny distributor will see possibilities for three trendy niche markets, Japanism, environmentalism and feminism.
▪ They were the sturdy facade, the ulterior design for a very canny flow of resources.
▪ Those who took his rewards, however, proved far cannier than their monarch.
The Collaborative International Dictionary

Canny \Can"ny\, Cannei \Can"nei\, a. [Cf. Icel. kenn skilled, learned, or E. canny. Cf. Kenn.] [North of Eng. & Scot.]

  1. Artful; cunning; shrewd; wary.

  2. Skillful; knowing; capable.
    --Sir W. Scott.

  3. Cautious; prudent; safe..

  4. Having pleasing or useful qualities; gentle.

  5. Reputed to have magical powers.
    --Sir W. Scott.

    No canny, not safe, not fortunate; unpropitious. [Scot.]

Douglas Harper's Etymology Dictionary

1630s, Scottish and northern English formation from can (v.1) in its sense of "know how to," + -y (2). "Knowing," hence, "careful." A doublet of cunning that flowed into distinct senses. Often used superciliously of Scots by their southern neighbors (and their American cousins).\n\nThe Canny Scot is so well known as scarcely to require description. He carries caution, cunning, and selfishness to excess. Deceitful when a purpose is to be accomplished, he is not habitually deceitful. One thing he never loses sight of
--his own interest. But of his own interest he is not the most enlightened judge.

["The Natural History of Scotsmen," in "The Argosy," December 1865]

\nRelated: Cannily; canniness.

a. 1 careful, prudent, cautious. 2 knowing, shrewd, astute. 3 frugal, thrifty. 4 (context Scotland Northumbria English) pleasant, fair. 5 (context Northumbria English) very or much.

  1. adj. showing self-interest and shrewdness in dealing with others; "a cagey lawyer"; "too clever to be sound" [syn: cagey, cagy, clever]

  2. [also: canniest, cannier]


Canny is the surname of:

  • John Canny, American computer scientist, namesake of the Canny edge detector
  • Nicholas Canny (born 1944), Irish historian
  • Paddy Canny (1919-2008), Irish fiddler
  • Steven Canny (born 1969), English playwright and BBC executive producer
  • Nicholas Canny (born 1951), Australian playwright and screenwriter

Usage examples of "canny".

He is a canny, combative Brooklynite who likes to give the impression that he has an inside edge.

In the 1860s, those high desert mountain fringes had been the ones where a canny Apache chieftain named Cochise had led his people in order to elude capture by the U.

She was canny enough to know this anger was aimed chiefly at Lady Cytherea, now out of sight round the bend, but, in the spheres in which she had been raised, she had often seen anger at one object translated into retribution taken out on the hide of a more lowly victim.

Kilmartin had been canny enough to spot trainee talent and thus promptly appropriate detectives like Seamus Hoey, a brawny and sometimes moody Galwegian who had been stationed in Athlone, the most boring town in Ireland.

Swenson, the canny Swede who had dreamed up Hellmouth, had picked well.

Queen of England, bold and canny Elizabeth I, was willing to reverse the ancient enmity and offer alliance to the Netherland rebels.

Mardikian and the mayor assumed the stuff I was handing in was the result of my own projections, the product of my polltakers, my computers, and my sweet canny cerebrum.

He had spun an elaborate, supersecret network, with cutouts and switchbacks and complex electronic mazes created by canny old spies.

There were many Caesars in the public eye, tremendously wellborn, canny, ambitious, competent.

And I verily thought, if I should hurt the woman by any kind of meane, I should be throwne to the wild Beasts : But in the meane season she kissed me, and looked in my mouth with burning eyes, saying : I hold thee my canny, I hold thee my noose, my sparrow, and therewithall she eftsoones imbraced my body round about, and had her pleasure with me, whereby I thought the mother of Miniatures did not ceaseless quench her inordinate desire with a Bull.

Gaius Flavius Hemicillus, who approached Atticus and asked that canny plutocrat to put himself at the head of a consortium of financial magicians willing to lend the Liberators money for purposes Hemicillus left unspecified.

Jews were supposed to be canny, clannish traders who had some absurd belief in an invisible god who disdained statues and pork flesh and was never satisfied with the world he was supposed to have created.

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.

As he was plunged in these gloomy soliloquies, he heard the tramp of a horse on the other side of his enclosure, and a strong clear bass voice singing with the liveliness inspired by a light heart, Canny Hobbie Elliot, Canny Hobbie now, Canny Hobbie Elliot, I'se gang alang wi' you.

They were tense and excited, but these Bor-ribles were too canny to give much away in their ex­pressions.