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The Collaborative International Dictionary

Cun \Cun\, v. t. [See 1st Con.] To know. See Con. [Obs.] [1913 Webster] ||


Cun \Cun\ (k[u^]n), v. t. [See Cond.] To con (a ship). [Obs.]

Douglas Harper's Etymology Dictionary

"to learn to know, inquire into," from Old English cunnian "to learn to know," ultimately from the same ancient root as can (v.1). Surviving into 17c. and perhaps later in dialects.


Etymology 1 vb. (context obsolete English) To know. Etymology 2

vb. To con (a ship).

Cun (unit)

The cun (; Japanese: sun; Korean: chon), often glossed as the Chinese inch, is a traditional Chinese unit of length. Its traditional measure is the width of a person's thumb at the knuckle, whereas the width of the two forefingers denotes 1.5 cun and the width of all fingers side-by-side is three cuns. In this sense it continues to be used to chart acupuncture points on the human body in various uses of traditional Chinese medicine.

The cun was part of a larger system, and represented one-tenth of a chi ("Chinese foot"). In time the lengths were standardized, although to different values in different jurisdictions. (See chi (unit) for details.)

In Hong Kong, using the traditional standard, it measures ~3.715 cm (~1.463 in) and is written "tsun". In the twentieth century in the Republic of China, the lengths were standardized to fit with the metric system, and in current usage in People's Republic of China and Taiwan it measures  cm (~1.312 in).

In Japan, the corresponding unit, , was standardized at  mm (~3.030 cm, ~1.193 in, or ~0.09942 ft).


Cún is a village in Baranya county, Hungary.

Usage examples of "cun".

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Darwin denied design, so neither can it be doubted that Paley denied descent with modification.

We can see no evidence of any such design as this in nature, and much everywhere that makes against it.

There is no such improvidence as over providence, and whatever theories we may form about the origin and development of the universe, we may be sure that it is not the work of one who is unable to understand how anything can possibly go right unless he sees to it himself.

If he cannot speak with tongues himself, he is the interpreter of those who can - without whom they might as well be silent.

I should not, however, say this unless led to do so by regard to the interests of theories which I believe to be as nearly important as any theories can be which do not directly involve money or bodily convenience.

If the facts are sound, how can it matter whether A or B collected them?

Spencer, or any others that can be found in his works, show that he regarded heredity in all its manifestations as a mode of memory.

Ideas can be changed to almost any extent in almost any direction, if the change is brought about gradually and in accordance with the rules of all development.

Whether a discord is too violent or no, depends on what we have been accustomed to, and on how widely the new differs from the old, but in no case can we fuse and assimilate more than a very little new at a time without exhausting our tempering power - and hence presently our temper.

When facts conflict, contradict one another, melt into one another as the colours of the spectrum so insensibly that none can say where one begins and the other ends, contradictions in terms become first fruits of thought and speech.

No opposition, no sensation, applies as much to the psychical as to the physical kingdom, as soon as these two have got well above the horizon of our thoughts and can be seen as two.

Cross-fertilisation is just as necessary for continued fertility of ideas as for that of organic life, and the attempt to frown this or that down merely on the ground that it involves contradiction in terms, without at the same time showing that the contradiction is on a larger scale than healthy thought can stomach, argues either small sense or small sincerity on the part of those who make it.

In virtue of what power is it that offspring can repeat and improve upon the performances of their parents?

Now upon our own theory it can only be met by taking it to be due to inherited memory.