savvy

adjective
sav·​vy | \ ˈsa-vē How to pronounce savvy (audio) \
savvier; savviest

Definition of savvy

 (Entry 1 of 3)

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

savvy

noun

Definition of savvy (Entry 2 of 3)

: practical know-how political savvy

savvy

verb
savvied; savvying

Definition of savvy (Entry 3 of 3)

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Other Words from savvy

Adjective

savvily adverb
savviness noun

Did you know?

Adjective

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.

Examples of savvy in a Sentence

Adjective She's a very savvy investor. He is savvy about computers. Noun she's an excellent scholar of political science, but lacks the kind of savvy needed to run for public office Verb the man growled, “Don't ever date my daughter again—you savvy?”
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Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective What if parents aren’t savvy enough to parse through directories and scrutinize program offerings? Alia Wong, USA TODAY, 3 Sep. 2021 Susan Giffen, a Democratic voter who lives in one of the nation’s most important political swing districts, said Vice President Kamala Harris is savvy, asks perceptive questions and would make a good president. Noah Bierman, Los Angeles Times, 31 Aug. 2021 Indeed, young people, often assumed to be more digitally savvy than the general population, have reported particularly high rates of loneliness as well as related conditions like depression. New York Times, 18 Aug. 2021 The stakes were low, the targets weren’t especially tech savvy, and there was a deliverable target — the MS — that a new recruit could bring home before moving on to stealing login credentials from employees at a nuclear reactor. Reeves Wiedeman, Vulture, 17 Aug. 2021 The company is also savvy about keeping users on its platform. Michelle Toh, CNN, 14 Aug. 2021 Illustrating that message with a cartoon image of an Indian sending smoke signals perpetuates the stereotype that Native Americans are stuck in a time warp, when in fact many tribes are technologically savvy. Elizabeth Kolbert, The New Yorker, 9 Aug. 2021 Hearst is savvy and seems to have found the sweet spot where sustainability and exclusivity meet. Rachel Donadio, Vogue, 30 June 2021 With simple, clear cut buttons on the device and accompanying remote for user-friendly operating, this vacuum is especially great for the less technologically savvy. Sholeen Damarwala, Forbes, 24 June 2021 Recent Examples on the Web: Noun Ifergan also was the first prospective business partner to immediately offer the resources and business savvy necessary to get the project up and running. Stephanie Breijo, Los Angeles Times, 8 Sep. 2021 Young has shown the fearlessness to mix it up with tight ends, the savvy to blitz from the slot, the lateral quickness to cover middle-of-the-field routes and the speed to track big-play threats. Jonas Shaffer, baltimoresun.com, 19 July 2021 But no dog can claim all the days in the year, and no human wants to have mere dog tags to show for all their investment savvy. David Lavie, Robb Report, 24 May 2021 Many families lack the time and savvy needed to land a seat at the programs that do exist. Alia Wong, USA TODAY, 3 Sep. 2021 As Cassie lurches from one bad scene to another and Annie uses her wits and rule-skirting savvy to bail her out, Cuoco and Mamet have the edgy chemistry of spies who know their partners too well to trust them, but need them too much not to. San Diego Union-Tribune, 27 Aug. 2021 Displaying social media savvy, the Taliban amplified these events by texting images and video of their fighters walking around army bases and driving Humvees. Ann Scott Tyson, The Christian Science Monitor, 19 Aug. 2021 Hill provided playmaking savvy off the bench and also led the league in three-point shooting at 46% in the 2019-20 season. Ben Steele, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, 7 Aug. 2021 But more than business savvy, Il Bisonte’s old-world MO is resonating as shoppers place an increasing priority on sustainability. Kareem Rashed, Robb Report, 4 Aug. 2021 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb Sagive Greenspan, a market-savvy IT and tech industry veteran, is CEO at Priority Software, a leading global ERP solutions provider. Sagive Greenspan, Forbes, 9 Sep. 2021 UpGuard researchers discovered 38 million records from 47 different organizations, including American Airlines and even some of Microsoft’s own departments, that were readily publicly available to anyone savvy enough to look. Shari Rudavsky, The Indianapolis Star, 23 Aug. 2021 And in the case of those two young women, they were used by older women savvy enough to play both mother and friend. Washington Post, 1 Sep. 2021 Tampa Bay has one of the top inside-linebacker duos in the NFL in Lavonte David and Devin White, with Kevin Minter as a backup with more than 100 games of NFL experience and special-teams savvy. Mark Inabinett | Minabinett@al.com, al, 26 Aug. 2021 Anthony was suspicious of institutions of power but savvy about leveraging them. E. Alex Jung, Vulture, 2 Aug. 2021 The journey to savvy real estate investor with 19 properties in three states seems implausible for a girl barely surviving on a daily bowl of rice in her native Vietnam. Mark Thiessen, Anchorage Daily News, 25 July 2021 The journey to savvy real estate investor with 19 properties in three states seems implausible for a girl barely surviving on a daily bowl of rice in her native Vietnam. Mark Thiessen, Star Tribune, 25 July 2021 In our series MC Muse, savvy women from around the world share their style, their ambitions, and the most coveted pieces to shop right now. Sara Holzman, Marie Claire, 2 July 2021

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.

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First Known Use of savvy

Adjective

1826, in the meaning defined above

Noun

circa 1785, in the meaning defined above

Verb

1686, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for savvy

Verb

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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Dictionary Entries Near savvy

savs

savvy

saw

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Statistics for savvy

Last Updated

18 Sep 2021

Cite this Entry

“Savvy.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/savvy. Accessed 19 Sep. 2021.

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More Definitions for savvy

savvy

adjective

English Language Learners Definition of savvy

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: having practical understanding or knowledge of something

savvy

noun

English Language Learners Definition of savvy (Entry 2 of 2)

: practical understanding or knowledge of something

savvy

noun
sav·​vy | \ ˈsa-vē \

Kids Definition of savvy

 (Entry 1 of 2)

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

savvy

adjective

Kids Definition of savvy (Entry 2 of 2)

: having practical knowledge or understanding of something savvy investors

More from Merriam-Webster on savvy

Nglish: Translation of savvy for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of savvy for Arabic Speakers

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