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Canny vs. Uncanny: Know the Difference

Shumaila Saeed
By Shumaila Saeed || Updated on December 26, 2023
Canny refers to being shrewd, cautious, and prudent, while uncanny describes something strange, mysterious, or unsettlingly out of the ordinary.
Canny vs. Uncanny

Key Differences

Canny implies astuteness, careful judgment, and the ability to make smart decisions. In contrast, uncanny denotes an eerie, mysterious quality that defies ordinary explanation.
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Shumaila Saeed
Dec 26, 2023
A canny person is often admired for their practical intelligence and savvy. Conversely, an uncanny experience or phenomenon tends to evoke feelings of discomfort or awe due to its inexplicable nature.
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Dec 26, 2023
In business, a canny decision reflects strategic thinking and foresight. However, an uncanny coincidence in the same realm might suggest an almost supernatural element of chance or fate.
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Canny is used to describe actions or people characterized by shrewdness and careful thinking. On the other hand, uncanny often describes situations, events, or abilities that seem to surpass normal boundaries or expectations.
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Shumaila Saeed
Dec 26, 2023
The word canny has a generally positive connotation, linked to wisdom and judiciousness. In contrast, uncanny carries a neutral or slightly negative connotation, often associated with the supernatural or the inexplicably strange.
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Comparison Chart

Meaning

Shrewd, cautious, and prudent
Strange, eerie, or mysteriously unusual
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Dec 26, 2023

Connotation

Generally positive, implying smartness
Neutral or slightly negative, implying weirdness
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Dec 26, 2023

Usage Context

Describes people or decisions
Describes experiences, events, or qualities
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Emotional Response

Admiration for intelligence or caution
Discomfort or awe at the inexplicable
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Common Associations

Practical intelligence, savvy
Supernatural, beyond normal understanding
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Canny and Uncanny Definitions

Canny

Showing good judgment and foresight.
He made a canny investment in the stock market.
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Dec 26, 2023

Uncanny

Eerily strange or mysterious.
He had an uncanny ability to predict events.
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Dec 26, 2023

Canny

Prudent and cautious, especially in business.
The canny businessman avoided unnecessary risks.
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Uncanny

Beyond the ordinary or normal.
The twins shared an uncanny resemblance.
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Canny

Wise and perceptive in understanding.
She's known for her canny insight into politics.
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Uncanny

Mysteriously unsettling or peculiar.
His knowledge of the past was uncanny.
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Dec 26, 2023

Canny

Shrewd and careful in decision-making.
Her canny negotiation skills saved the deal.
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Dec 26, 2023

Uncanny

Unsettlingly weird or unnatural.
There was an uncanny silence in the forest.
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Dec 26, 2023

Canny

Careful and shrewd, especially where one's own interests are concerned.
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Oct 19, 2023

Uncanny

Suggestive of the supernatural.
She felt an uncanny presence in the old house.
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Dec 26, 2023

Canny

Cautious in spending money; frugal.
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Shumaila Saeed
Oct 19, 2023

Uncanny

Mysterious or impossible to explain, especially when causing uneasiness or astonishment.
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Oct 19, 2023

Canny

Steady, restrained, and gentle.
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Oct 19, 2023

Uncanny

Strange, and mysteriously unsettling (as if supernatural); weird.
He bore an uncanny resemblance to the dead sailor.
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Oct 19, 2023

Canny

Snug and quiet.
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Oct 19, 2023

Uncanny

Careless.
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Oct 19, 2023

Canny

Careful, prudent, cautious.
The politician gave a canny response to the reporter's questions.
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Oct 19, 2023

Uncanny

Something that is simultaneously familiar and strange, typically leading to feelings of discomfort.
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Oct 19, 2023

Canny

Knowing, shrewd, astute.
The canny lawyer knew just how to get what he wanted.
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Oct 19, 2023

Uncanny

Not canny; unsafe; strange; weird; ghostly.
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Oct 19, 2023

Canny

Frugal, thrifty.
Canny investments
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Oct 19, 2023

Uncanny

Suggesting the operation of supernatural influences;
An eldritch screech
The three weird sisters
Stumps...had uncanny shapes as of monstrous creatures
An unearthly light
He could hear the unearthly scream of some curlew piercing the din
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Oct 19, 2023

Canny

Friendly, pleasant, fair, agreeable; (sometimes) funny.
She's a canny lass hor like!
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Oct 19, 2023

Uncanny

Beyond what is natural;
His uncanny sense of direction
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Oct 19, 2023

Canny

Gentle, quiet, steady.
A canny horse
Be canny with this letter
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Oct 19, 2023

Canny

Sounding as if it is coming through a tin can.
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Oct 19, 2023

Canny

(Northumbria) Very, considerably; quite, rather.
That's a canny big horse, man!
A canny long journey
Canny near home
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Shumaila Saeed
Oct 19, 2023

Canny

Gently, quietly; carefully, skilfully.
He sits very canny
Drive canny
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Oct 19, 2023

Canny

Artful; cunning; shrewd; wary.
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Oct 19, 2023

Canny

Skillful; knowing; capable.
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Oct 19, 2023

Canny

Cautious; prudent; safe..
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Canny

Having pleasing or useful qualities; gentle.
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Canny

Reputed to have magical powers.
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Canny

Showing self-interest and shrewdness in dealing with others;
A cagey lawyer
Too clever to be sound
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Shumaila Saeed
Oct 19, 2023

Canny

Clever in managing one's affairs.
He was canny enough to spot the opportunity early.
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Dec 26, 2023

Repeatedly Asked Queries

What does canny mean?

It describes someone who is shrewd, cautious, and prudent.
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Dec 26, 2023

How is uncanny used?

To describe something strange, eerie, or mysterious.
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Dec 26, 2023

Does uncanny imply supernatural elements?

It can suggest something beyond normal understanding.
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Dec 26, 2023

Can canny be applied to business?

Yes, often referring to shrewd business decisions.
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Dec 26, 2023

Is being canny a positive trait?

Generally, yes, it indicates good judgment.
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Dec 26, 2023

Is uncanny always related to fear?

Not necessarily, but it often involves an eerie feeling.
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Dec 26, 2023

Can art be described as uncanny?

Yes, if it evokes a sense of strangeness or mystery.
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Dec 26, 2023

Can uncanny be unsettling?

Yes, it often evokes discomfort or awe.
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Dec 26, 2023

Do canny people take risks?

They are more likely to be cautious and calculated.
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Dec 26, 2023

Can a decision be described as canny?

Yes, if it demonstrates shrewdness and foresight.
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Dec 26, 2023

Are canny individuals always successful?

Not always, but they tend to make well-informed choices.
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Is canny used in everyday language?

It's less common but used in specific contexts.
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Dec 26, 2023

Can technology be uncanny?

Yes, if it seems unusually advanced or strange.
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Is uncanny a negative term?

It's neutral but can have slightly negative connotations.
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Dec 26, 2023

Does uncanny mean unnatural?

It implies something unusual or beyond the normal.
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Dec 26, 2023

Can children be canny?

Yes, if they show unusual shrewdness or caution.
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Dec 26, 2023

Does canny have synonyms?

Yes, like astute, savvy, or prudent.
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Dec 26, 2023

Is the uncanny valley a related concept?

Yes, it refers to the eeriness of near-human replicas.
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Dec 26, 2023

Are canny decisions always right?

Not necessarily, but they're typically well-considered.
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Dec 26, 2023

Can nature be uncanny?

Yes, in its extraordinary or mysterious aspects.
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Shumaila Saeed
Dec 26, 2023

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Shumaila Saeed
Written by
Shumaila Saeed
Shumaila Saeed, an expert content creator with 6 years of experience, specializes in distilling complex topics into easily digestible comparisons, shining a light on the nuances that both inform and educate readers with clarity and accuracy.

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