Simple Definition of acumen
: the ability to think clearly and make good decisions
Examples of acumen in a sentence
And perhaps this is just part of Washington's transition into the new economy: the triumph of national brands over local loyalty, of business acumen over upper Northwest idealism. —Franklin Foer, New Republic, 7 Feb. 2000
… the historical acumen, the steady shrewdness, and the uncommon common sense with which the old maestro watches the American procession of similar problems faced by dissimilar egos. —Alistair Cooke, New Yorker, 9 Feb. 1987
Here was a man of extraordinary sensitivity, political acumen, spiritual power, and sexual wildness; a free spirit if ever there was one. —Alice Walker, Living by the Word, 1986
Her political acumen won her the election.
a lack of business acumen
Did You Know?
A keen mind and a sharp wit can pierce the soul as easily as a needle passes through cloth. Remember the analogy between a jabbing needle and piercing perception, and you will readily recall the history of acumen. Our English word retains the spelling and figurative meaning of its direct Latin ancestor, a term that literally meant "point." Latin acumen traces to the verb acuere, which means "to sharpen" and derives from acus, the Latin word for "needle." In its first known English uses in the 1500s, acumen referred specifically to a sharpness of wit. In modern English, it conveys the sense that someone is perceptive enough to grasp a situation quickly and clever enough to use it.
Origin of acumen
Latin acumin-, acumen, literally, point, from acuere
First Known Use: circa 1579
Synonym Discussion of acumen
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