noun acu·men \ə-ˈkyü-mən, ˈa-kyə-mən\

: the ability to think clearly and make good decisions

Full Definition of ACUMEN

:  keenness and depth of perception, discernment, or discrimination especially in practical matters

Examples of ACUMEN

  1. Her political acumen won her the election.
  2. a lack of business acumen
  3. 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

Origin of ACUMEN

Latin acumin-, acumen, literally, point, from acuere
First Known Use: circa 1579

Synonym Discussion of ACUMEN

discernment, discrimination, perception, penetration, insight, acumen mean a power to see what is not evident to the average mind. discernment stresses accuracy (as in reading character or motives or appreciating art) <the discernment to know true friends>. discrimination stresses the power to distinguish and select what is true or appropriate or excellent <the discrimination that develops through listening to a lot of great music>. perception implies quick and often sympathetic discernment (as of shades of feeling) <a novelist of keen perception into human motives>. penetration implies a searching mind that goes beyond what is obvious or superficial <lacks the penetration to see the scorn beneath their friendly smiles>. insight suggests depth of discernment coupled with understanding sympathy <a documentary providing insight into the plight of the homeless>. acumen implies characteristic penetration combined with keen practical judgment <a director of reliable box-office acumen>.


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