adjective, can·ni·er, can·ni·est.
- 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.
adverb Also can·ni·ly.
- canoe birch,
- canoe slalom,
Origin of canny
Examples from the Web for canny
Ever canny if uninspiring, John Boehner admitted as much in his recent remarks.What Republicans Need Right Now Is a Good Internal Fight|James Poulos|November 6, 2014|DAILY BEAST
But he was a canny political operator, far less ideological and more coldly pragmatic than proponents liked to admit.From The Square Deal to The New Deal: The Overlapping Political Identities of TR and FDR|John Avlon|September 9, 2014|DAILY BEAST
A wavering, but canny Wehrmacht General Dietrich von Choltitz finally surrendered it on August 25.
That is admirable, and Preserve is clever, or at least canny.
All of it is so canny we can only wonder why no one had said these things before.
Said the goodwife, "Aoirig, poor woman, it is not the hour for ancient old sgeuls; be thinking of a canny going."The Lost Pibroch|Neil Munro
He felt, like the washerwomen, that there was something not canny about this Doo.The Scottish Fairy Book|Elizabeth W. Grierson
The canny young Scot thought of a coming legacy and obeyed the head of his clan.A Fascinating Traitor|Richard Henry Savage
It was "no' canny" that this old man, with a cauld in his chest, had gone up full two days before and had not come down again.Greyfriars Bobby|Eleanor Atkinson
Out of his canny Scotch-English corner of thought, he is sadly lost.
adjective -nier or -niest
Word Origin for canny
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.