Intelligence vs. Cunning: What's the Difference?
Intelligence refers to one's ability to learn, understand, and apply knowledge, while Cunning is the skill of achieving one's goals through deceit or evasio
Intelligence and Cunning are distinct concepts, each embodying a unique set of attributes and applications. Intelligence is indicative of a person’s ability to learn, understand, reason, and apply knowledge effectively. It represents a cognitive ability that involves analytical thinking, problem-solving, and comprehension. On the other hand, Cunning refers to the skill or ability to achieve one’s ends through deceit, evasion, or manipulation. It typically implies a degree of craftiness or slyness employed to attain desired outcomes.
Intelligence is often measured through IQ tests, emphasizing logical reasoning, memory, and analytical abilities. It is valued in academic and professional settings for its correlation with learning and problem-solving skills. Conversely, Cunning is not measured through standardized tests but is often discerned through one’s actions and behavior. It is characterized by a shrewdness and astuteness used to maneuver situations to one’s advantage, usually with a sense of guile and deception.
Intelligence encompasses various forms including emotional, creative, and analytical intelligence, each highlighting different aspects of cognitive abilities. It is seen as a positive trait that contributes to individual growth and societal progress. Cunning, in contrast, primarily revolves around being cleverly resourceful and adept at manipulating situations. It might not always have a positive connotation as it often involves trickery and deception to meet individual objectives.
In a broad sense, Intelligence is associated with the pursuit of knowledge and the application of rational and logical thinking. It is considered a fundamental aspect of cognitive development and is respected and nurtured in educational contexts. Cunning, however, is more related to practical and situational application, wherein an individual uses clever and often deceptive means to navigate scenarios, and it may not be perceived as an ethical or moral approach.
To encapsulate, while Intelligence is a broad term encompassing one’s ability to learn, reason, and solve problems, Cunning is a more specific trait related to achieving goals through clever yet often deceptive means. Intelligence is generally perceived as a positive and desirable attribute, while Cunning may have negative connotations due to its association with deceit and manipulation.
Ability to learn, understand, and apply knowledge.
Skill of achieving goals through deceit or evasion.
Often negative due to association with deceit.
Measured through IQ tests.
Discerned through actions and behavior.
Broad, including various forms of intelligence.
Specific, related to practical and situational application.
Valued in academic and professional settings.
Often used to navigate scenarios to one’s advantage.
Intelligence and Cunning Definitions
The collection of information, especially of military or political value.
The agency gathered intelligence on the enemy's plans.
Skill in achieving one's ends by indirect means.
Through cunning, he manipulated the situation to his advantage.
A manifestation of high mental capacity.
Exceptional intelligence is often seen in prodigies.
Cleverness or craftiness.
The fox is known for its cunning in folklore.
The capacity for learning, reasoning, and understanding.
Intelligence is crucial for making informed decisions.
The ability to achieve goals through deceit or evasion.
His cunning plan allowed him to escape unnoticed.
The ability to acquire, understand, and use knowledge
A person of extraordinary intelligence.
Slyness marked by trickery.
Cunning strategies often involve deceit and manipulation.
Information, especially secret information gathered about an actual or potential enemy or adversary.
Artfulness and guile in dealing with others.
He used his cunning to outwit his competitors.
The gathering of such information
"Corporate intelligence relies on a slew of tools, some sophisticated, many quite basic" (Neil King and Jess Bravin).
Marked by or given to artful subtlety and deceptiveness.
An agency or organization whose purpose is to gather such information
An officer from military intelligence.
Executed with or exhibiting ingenuity.
An intelligent, incorporeal being, especially an angel.
Delicately pleasing; pretty or cute
A cunning pet.
Of mind, especially to understand principles, truths, facts or meanings, acquire knowledge, and apply it to practice; the ability to comprehend and learn.
Skill in deception; guile.
The quality of making use or having made use of such capacities: depth of understanding, mental quickness.
Skill or adeptness in execution or performance; dexterity.
(countable) An entity that has such capacities.
Sly; crafty; clever in surreptitious behaviour.
, often secret, about an enemy or about hostile activities.
(obsolete) Skillful, artful.
(countable) A political or military department, agency or unit designed to gather information, usually secret, about the enemy or about hostile activities.
(obsolete) Wrought with, or exhibiting, skill or ingenuity; ingenious.
(dated) acquaintance; intercourse; familiarity.
The act or state of knowing; the exercise of the understanding.
Practical knowledge or experience; aptitude in performance; skill, proficiency; dexterity.
The capacity to know or understand; readiness of comprehension; the intellect, as a gift or an endowment.
And dimmed with darkness their intelligence.
Practical skill employed in a secret or crafty manner; craft; artifice; skillful deceit; art or magic.
Information communicated; news; notice; advice.
Intelligence is given where you are hid.
The disposition to employ one's skill in an artful manner; craftiness; guile; artifice; skill of being cunning, sly, conniving, or deceitful.
Acquaintance; intercourse; familiarity.
He lived rather in a fair intelligence than any friendship with the favorites.
The natural wit or instincts of an animal.
The cunning of the fox or hare
Knowledge imparted or acquired, whether by study, research, or experience; general information.
I write as he that none intelligenceOf meters hath, ne flowers of sentence.
(obsolete) Knowledge; learning; special knowledge (sometimes implying occult or magical knowledge).
An intelligent being or spirit; - generally applied to pure spirits; as, a created intelligence.
The great Intelligences fairThat range above our mortal state,In circle round the blessed gate,Received and gave him welcome there.
Knowing; skillful; dexterous.
"Tis beauty truly blent, whose red and whiteNature's own sweet and cunning hand laid on.
Esau was a cunning hunter.
The division within a military organization that gathers and evaluates information about an enemy.
Wrought with, or exhibiting, skill or ingenuity; ingenious; curious; as, cunning work.
Over them Arachne high did lift
The ability to comprehend; to understand and profit from experience
Crafty; sly; artful; designing; deceitful.
They are resolved to be cunning; let others run the hazard of being sincere.
A unit responsible for gathering and interpreting information about an enemy
Pretty or pleasing; as, a cunning little boy.
Secret information about an enemy (or potential enemy);
We sent out planes to gather intelligence on their radar coverage
Knowledge; art; skill; dexterity.
Let my right hand forget her cunning.
A carpenter's desertStands more in cunning than in power.
New information about specific and timely events;
They awaited news of the outcome
The faculty or act of using stratagem to accomplish a purpose; fraudulent skill or dexterity; deceit; craft.
Discourage cunning in a child; cunning is the ape of wisdom.
We take cunning for a sinister or crooked wisdom.
The operation of gathering information about an enemy
Shrewdness in deception;
As cunning as a fox
The ability to acquire and apply knowledge.
His intelligence allowed him to solve complex problems.
Shrewdness as demonstrated by being skilled in deception
The ability to think abstractly and comprehend.
Emotional intelligence involves understanding emotions.
Drafty artfulness (especially in deception)
Attractive especially by means of smallness or prettiness or quaintness;
A cute kid with pigtails
A cute little apartment
A cunning baby
Marked by skill in deception;
Cunning men often pass for wise
Deep political machinations
A foxy scheme
A slick evasive answer
Sly as a fox
A wily old attorney
Showing inventiveness and skill;
A clever gadget
The cunning maneuvers leading to his success
An ingenious solution to the problem
Is intelligence the ability to learn?
Yes, intelligence includes the ability to learn and apply knowledge effectively.
Is cunning associated with deceit?
Yes, cunning is often associated with achieving goals through deceit or evasion.
Can intelligence be measured through tests?
Yes, intelligence is often measured through IQ tests focusing on analytical abilities.
Can cunning be used for ethical purposes?
While cunning often involves deception, it can be used ethically in some situations.
Is emotional intelligence a form of intelligence?
Yes, emotional intelligence is a recognized form of intelligence focusing on emotions.
Can intelligence be improved?
While there’s debate, many believe that certain aspects of intelligence can be improved with effort.
Does intelligence involve reasoning?
Absolutely, intelligence involves the ability to reason and understand.
Is cunning considered clever?
Yes, cunning is considered to be clever, especially in practical and situational applications.
Is intelligence valued in educational settings?
Yes, intelligence is highly valued and nurtured in educational settings.
Is cunning perceived negatively?
Cunning can have negative connotations due to its association with deceit and manipulation.
Does cunning imply indirect means?
Yes, cunning often implies achieving ends by indirect, often deceptive means.
Written bySawaira Riaz
Sawaira is a dedicated content editor at difference.wiki, where she meticulously refines articles to ensure clarity and accuracy. With a keen eye for detail, she upholds the site's commitment to delivering insightful and precise content.
Edited bySumera 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.