astute

adjective
as·​tute | \ ə-ˈstüt How to pronounce astute (audio) , a-, -ˈstyüt \

Definition of astute

: having or showing shrewdness and an ability to notice and understand things clearly : mentally sharp or clever an astute observer astute remarks also : crafty, wily

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Other Words from astute

astutely adverb
astuteness noun

Choose the Right Synonym for astute

shrewd, sagacious, perspicacious, astute mean acute in perception and sound in judgment. shrewd stresses practical, hardheaded cleverness and judgment. a shrewd judge of character sagacious suggests wisdom, penetration, and farsightedness. sagacious investors got in on the ground floor perspicacious implies unusual power to see through and understand what is puzzling or hidden. a perspicacious counselor saw through the child's facade astute suggests shrewdness, perspicacity, and diplomatic skill. an astute player of party politics

The Difference Between Astute, Shrewd, and Sagacious

Astute is similar in meaning to shrewd and sagacious, but there are subtle differences in connotation among them. All three suggest sharp thinking and sound judgment, but shrewd stresses practical, hardheaded cleverness and judgment ("a shrewd judge of character"), whereas sagacious implies wisdom and foresight combined with good judgment ("sagacious investors"). Astute, which derives from the Latin noun astus, meaning "craft," suggests cleverness, mental sharpness, and diplomatic skill ("an astute player of party politics").

Examples of astute in a Sentence

We thought they were not very intellectually astute, but we didn't really understand how political a lot of what they were doing was. — Ben Wallace-Wells, Rolling Stone, 15 Nov. 2007 He asked astute diagnosticians around the country how they approached and cracked difficult diagnoses and what happened when they failed. Misdiagnosis is not an insignificant problem: Groopman cites a finding that between one in six and one in seven patients is incorrectly assessed. — Ruth Levy Guyer, Wilson Quarterly, Summer 2007 And finally, even if she had never actually uttered the bon mot that would be famously attributed to her, that if she had two heads, she would risk one in the king's service, could the astute young duchess actually have had input into the implausible negotiations? — Harvey Rachlin, Scandals, Vandals, and Da Vincis, 2007 Focusing largely upon Western alchemy during the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries, she has a sharp eye for how alchemical images surface in literature of that period. Readers of Ben Jonson, Christopher Marlowe, and William Shakespeare will find illuminating insights. Abraham reveals the far reaches of her astute literary intelligence by analyzing alchemical imagery encoded in a broad range of works, from Chaucer and Milton to Vladimir Nabokov and P. G. Wodehouse. — Norman Weinstein, Parabola, November 1999 He is an astute observer of the current political scene. Astute readers will notice the error. His analysis of the battle was very astute.
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Recent Examples on the Web Some astute young staff members had the presence of mind to grab the physical electoral ballots for safekeeping. Donna M. Owens, Essence, 27 July 2021 Thankfully some astute young staff members had the presence of mind to grab the physical electoral ballots for safekeeping. CNN, 27 July 2021 Raddon was astute in encouraging the crowd to arrive early via his social media in anticipation of a potentially frustrating parking situation. Harry Levin, Billboard, 19 July 2021 Then, an astute physician doing a final check on the two-day-old infant called a halt to the discharge. Editorial Board, Star Tribune, 15 July 2021 In another astute move, Favereau writes, the Mongols exempted the Orthodox clergy from taxation, and so enrolled the favorable influence of a submissive church. Colin Thubron, The New York Review of Books, 6 July 2021 In a year where the tackle class has excellent depth, finding a young alternative who can step in for James would be an astute move. Nicholas Mcgee, Forbes, 21 Apr. 2021 Pedri’s technique, vision and ability to maneuver himself into space and find teammates with his astute passing is astonishing given his age. Tim Bielik, cleveland, 2 July 2021 And the Vikings, blessed with astute defensive reinforcements and Aaron Rodgers' pending departure from Green Bay, are going to win 11 or 12 and cruise to an NFC North title. Star Tribune, 2 July 2021

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'astute.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of astute

1565, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for astute

Latin astutus, from astus craft

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Dictionary Entries Near astute

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astute

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Last Updated

30 Jul 2021

Cite this Entry

“Astute.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/astute. Accessed 4 Aug. 2021.

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More Definitions for astute

astute

adjective
as·​tute | \ ə-ˈstüt How to pronounce astute (audio) , -ˈstyüt \

Kids Definition of astute

: very alert and aware : clever an astute observer

Other Words from astute

astutely adverb

More from Merriam-Webster on astute

Nglish: Translation of astute for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of astute for Arabic Speakers

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