An example of cunning is the way a racoon gets into a closed garbage can.
A cunning workman.
Tis beauty truly blent, whose red and white / Nature's own sweet and cunning hand laid on.
A cunning pet.
Origin of cunning
- Middle English present participle of connen to know from Old English cunnan gnō- in Indo-European roots
From American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition
- From Middle English cunning, kunning, konnyng, alteration of earlier Middle English cunninde, kunnende, cunnand, from Old English cunnende, present participle of cunnan (“to know how to, be able to”), equivalent to con + -ing. Cognate with Scots cunnand (“cunning”), German dialectal könnend (“cunning”), Icelandic kunnandi (“cunning”). More at con, can.
- From Middle English cunning, kunnyng, partially from Old English *cunning (verbal noun), from cunnan (“to know how to, be able to”); partially from Old English cunnung (“knowledge, trial, probation, experience, contact, carnal knowledge”), from cunnian (“to search into, try, test, seek for, explore, investigate, experience, have experience of, to make trial of, know”), equivalent to con + -ing.