- careful; cautious; prudent: a canny reply.
- astute; shrewd; knowing; sagacious: a canny negotiator.
- skilled; expert.
- frugal; thrifty: a canny housewife.
- safe to deal with, invest in, or work at (usually used with a negative).
- gentle; careful; steady.
- snug; cozy; comfortable.
- pleasing; attractive.
- Archaic.having supernatural or occult powers.
- in a canny manner.
- Scot. carefully; cautiously.
Origin of canny
Examples from the Web for cannier
Has there ever been a cannier promoter of his own work than Philip Roth, announcing his retirement?Writers Pick Their Favorite Philip Roth Novel
The Daily Beast
December 18, 2012
But they'll find they'll have to seek out a cannier bit nor this.The Kangaroo Hunters
Probably there was not, even in Thrums, a cannier man than Dunwoodie.The Little Minister
J. M. Barrie
Their first impulse was to run back to camp and shout the good news; but the cannier second thought prevailed.Pirates' Hope
- shrewd, esp in business; astute or wary; knowing
- Scot and Northeast English dialect good or nice: used as a general term of approval
- Scot lucky or fortunate
- Scot and Northeast English dialect quite; rathera canny long while
Word Origin and History for cannier
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).
The 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]
Related: Cannily; canniness.