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Cunning vs. Deception: What's the Difference?

Edited by Huma Saeed || By Sumera Saeed || Updated on December 20, 2023
Cunning is the skill or cleverness in achieving one's goals, often in a deceptive or sly manner, while deception is the act of misleading or deceiving someone, concealing the truth.

Key Differences

Cunning is an attribute or quality denoting cleverness or ingenuity, particularly in devising or achieving goals, sometimes through deceptive means. Deception, on the other hand, is an action or practice of deliberately misleading someone, typically for personal gain or advantage.
Sumera Saeed
Dec 19, 2023
Cunning can have neutral or slightly negative connotations, implying shrewdness or astuteness. Deception is generally considered negative, as it involves dishonesty or falsification.
Sumera Saeed
Dec 19, 2023
Cunning is often used in situations requiring strategic thinking or problem-solving, potentially including manipulation. Deception is strictly about misleading or tricking others, often involving false statements or misrepresentations.
Huma Saeed
Dec 19, 2023
Cunning may not always involve bad intentions; it can be seen as resourcefulness. Deception, however, inherently involves the intent to deceive or mislead.
Sumera Saeed
Dec 19, 2023
Cunning is sometimes admired for its cleverness, especially if it leads to positive outcomes. Deception is typically frowned upon as it involves betrayal of trust or truth.
Harlon Moss
Dec 19, 2023
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Comparison Chart

Definition

Cleverness in achieving goals, sometimes slyly
Act of misleading or concealing truth
Sumera Saeed
Dec 19, 2023

Moral Connotation

Neutral to slightly negative
Generally negative
Sumera Saeed
Dec 19, 2023

Context

Strategic thinking, problem-solving
Deliberate misleading or trickery
Sumera Saeed
Dec 19, 2023

Intent

Not always malevolent
Inherently involves dishonest intent
Aimie Carlson
Dec 19, 2023

Perception

Can be admired for cleverness
Often viewed negatively
Sumera Saeed
Dec 19, 2023
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Cunning and Deception Definitions

Cunning

Skill in achieving one's ends by indirect, secretive means.
She used her cunning to navigate the complex political landscape.
Harlon Moss
Nov 28, 2023

Deception

The practice of concealing the truth or misrepresenting reality.
The novel's plot revolves around a web of deception and lies.
Huma Saeed
Nov 28, 2023

Cunning

Cunning refers to having or showing skill in achieving goals by deceit or evasion.
His cunning plan allowed him to outsmart his competitors.
Sumera Saeed
Nov 28, 2023

Deception

The process of making someone believe something that is not true.
The advertisement was criticized for its deception about the product's benefits.
Sumera Saeed
Nov 28, 2023

Cunning

The ability to achieve goals with ingenuity and sometimes deception.
His cunning in business dealings earned him a formidable reputation.
Harlon Moss
Nov 28, 2023

Deception

Deception means the act of deceiving or misleading someone.
The spy used deception to gather confidential information.
Sumera Saeed
Nov 28, 2023

Cunning

Characterized by being clever and resourceful in tricky situations.
The cunning fox managed to escape the trap.
Sumera Saeed
Nov 28, 2023

Deception

A strategy designed to deceive, mislead, or trick someone.
The magician's act was based on clever deception.
Sumera Saeed
Nov 28, 2023

Cunning

Cleverness or astuteness, especially for practical purposes.
The lawyer's cunning tactics won the difficult case.
Janet White
Nov 28, 2023

Deception

The act of causing someone to accept as true what is false.
The fraud involved an elaborate scheme of deception.
Aimie Carlson
Nov 28, 2023

Cunning

Marked by or given to artful subtlety and deceptiveness.
Sumera Saeed
Nov 23, 2023

Deception

The use of deceit.
Sumera Saeed
Nov 23, 2023

Cunning

Executed with or exhibiting ingenuity.
Sumera Saeed
Nov 23, 2023

FAQs

Can "cunning" describe a person?

Yes, it describes someone skilled in deception or manipulation.
Sumera Saeed
Dec 19, 2023

What does "cunning" mean?

Cunning refers to showing skill in achieving one's ends by deceit or evasion.
Sumera Saeed
Dec 19, 2023

Is "cunning" always negative?

Often, but it can be admired for its cleverness in some contexts.
Huma Saeed
Dec 19, 2023

Does "cunning" imply intelligence?

Yes, it generally suggests a clever or shrewd nature.
Janet White
Dec 19, 2023

Can animals be described as "cunning"?

Yes, often to describe their survival instincts or cleverness.
Aimie Carlson
Dec 19, 2023

Is "cunning" a noun or an adjective?

It's both; as a noun, it refers to the skill in deceit, and as an adjective, it describes someone with that skill.
Aimie Carlson
Dec 19, 2023

Is "cunning" a common word?

It's moderately common, especially in literature.
Sumera Saeed
Dec 19, 2023

Is "deception" always intentional?

Yes, it involves deliberate misleading or false impressions.
Sumera Saeed
Dec 19, 2023

Can "deception" be a good thing?

Rarely, it's mostly seen as unethical or morally wrong.
Sumera Saeed
Dec 19, 2023

What's the difference between "deception" and "misunderstanding"?

Deception involves intentional misleading, while misunderstandings are usually unintentional.
Harlon Moss
Dec 19, 2023

How do you use "cunning" in a sentence?

Example: "The spy used his cunning to evade capture."
Aimie Carlson
Dec 19, 2023

Can "cunning" be positive?

Sometimes, when it refers to resourcefulness or ingenuity.
Aimie Carlson
Dec 19, 2023

Can "deception" be legal?

It can be, but it often has negative legal and moral implications.
Harlon Moss
Dec 19, 2023

Does "deception" imply harm?

Not always, but it usually leads to mistrust or betrayal.
Aimie Carlson
Dec 19, 2023

How is "deception" used in a sentence?

Example: "The magician's act relied on clever deception."
Sumera Saeed
Dec 19, 2023

Can "deception" be accidental?

Typically, it's intentional; accidental misinformation is not usually termed deception.
Aimie Carlson
Dec 19, 2023

What's a synonym for "cunning"?

Crafty, wily, or sly.
Janet White
Dec 19, 2023

What's a synonym for "deception"?

Fraud, trickery, or deceit.
Sumera Saeed
Dec 19, 2023

What does "deception" mean?

Deception is the act of misleading or tricking someone.
Harlon Moss
Dec 19, 2023

Is "deception" a noun or a verb?

It's a noun; the act of deceiving is the verb form.
Aimie Carlson
Dec 19, 2023
About Author
Written by
Sumera Saeed
Sumera is an experienced content writer and editor with a niche in comparative analysis. At Diffeence Wiki, she crafts clear and unbiased comparisons to guide readers in making informed decisions. With a dedication to thorough research and quality, Sumera's work stands out in the digital realm. Off the clock, she enjoys reading and exploring diverse cultures.
Edited by
Huma Saeed
Huma is a renowned researcher acclaimed for her innovative work in Difference Wiki. Her dedication has led to key breakthroughs, establishing her prominence in academia. Her contributions continually inspire and guide her field.

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