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savvy

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verb sav·vy \ˈsa-vē\

Definition of savvy

savvied

;

savvying

savvy was our Word of the Day on 04/27/2015. Hear the podcast!

Examples of savvy in a Sentence

  1. the man growled, Don't ever date my daughter again—you savvy?

Did You Know?

You may be familiar with the noun savvy, meaning "practical know-how" (as in "he has political savvy"), and the adjective use (as in "a savvy investor"). And if you've seen the blockbuster movie Pirates of the Caribbean, you also know that the verb is often used as an informal, one-word question meaning "Do you understand?" (as in "I'm Captain Jack Sparrow. Savvy?"). But Jack Sparrow (i.e., Johnny Depp) didn't invent the term. Both the noun and the verb came into use around 1785. "Savvy" is based on the Portuguese term sabe, meaning "he knows," which itself is from Latin sapere, meaning "to be wise." Creole speakers interpreted the Portuguese term as "sabi" and began using it as one would "know." Eventually, the Creole's "sabi" evolved into savvy.

Origin and Etymology of savvy

alteration of sabi know (in English-based creoles and pidgins), from Portuguese sabe he knows, from saber to know, from Latin sapere to be wise — more at sage


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savvy

noun sav·vy

Definition of savvy

  1. :  practical know-how political savvy

Examples of savvy in a Sentence

  1. she's an excellent scholar of political science, but lacks the kind of savvy needed to run for public office

Recent Examples of savvy from the Web

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

First Known Use of savvy

circa 1785


3

savvy

adjective sav·vy

Definition of savvy

savvier

;

savviest

  1. :  having or showing perception, comprehension, or shrewdness especially in practical matters

savvily

adverb

savviness

noun

Examples of savvy in a Sentence

  1. She's a very savvy investor.

  2. He is savvy about computers.

Recent Examples of savvy from the Web

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

First Known Use of savvy

1826


SAVVY Defined for English Language Learners

savvy

noun

Definition of savvy for English Language Learners

  • : practical understanding or knowledge of something

savvy

adjective

Definition of savvy for English Language Learners

  • : having practical understanding or knowledge of something


SAVVY Defined for Kids

1

savvy

noun sav·vy \ˈsa-vē\

Definition of savvy for Students

  1. :  practical knowledge or understanding She's admired for her business savvy.


2

savvy

adjective sav·vy

Definition of savvy for Students

  1. :  having practical knowledge or understanding of something savvy investors



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lethargy or dullness

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