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

So there are lots of deals out there just waiting for savvy shoppers to scoop them up. Rosemary Mcclure, Los Angeles Times, "$38 a night for a Caribbean cruise? That’s the upside to new Cuba travel rules," 30 July 2019 Tech-savvy entrepreneurs offer livestreaming as a service to hesitant funeral directors. Paris Martineau, WIRED, "Now Even Funerals Are Livestreamed—and Families Are Grateful," 30 July 2019 This most wanted leather crossbody is currently on sale for $100 off its usual premium price — plus, savvy shoppers can snag it in colors from black to orange, pink, red, or blue. Elizabeth Buxton, refinery29.com, "The 29 Nordstrom Sale Finds Readers Are Obsessed With," 25 July 2019 Overall, the beauty market in India is growing on the back of India’s growing youth and middle-class populations, who are extremely tech-savvy and trend-conscious, and who now have access to more disposable income. Ananya Bhattacharya, Quartz India, "Flipkart says Indians are adding Korean beauty products to their carts like never before," 25 July 2019 The current scandal mushroomed from the work of a pair of internet-savvy collectors, who unearthed information over the past three months implicating figures considered fixtures in the hobby. oregonlive.com, "Baseball card collectors suspect rampant fraud in their hobby," 19 July 2019 As the shutdowns intensify, young tech-savvy populations are resisting them and devising ways to circumvent them. Abdi Latif Dahir, Quartz Africa, "After a record 16-month ban, this president has unblocked social media access," 16 July 2019 Amazon’s Prime Day may be all the rage, with the e-commerce giant promising to unveil one million deals during its two-day extravaganza, but savvy shoppers aren’t making Amazon their only shopping destination this week. NBC News, "Move over Amazon, 'Black Friday in July' sales are heating up," 15 July 2019 That program uses dynamic pricing to adjust the cost based on demand, but savvy shoppers are often able to get premium seats at non-premium prices. J.l. Kirven, Detroit Free Press, "As Detroit Tigers try to fill seats, season-ticket holders fume," 14 July 2019

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

Everyone involved is pretty moose savvy, so the adults watching from the houses knew staying quiet and calm was the best option. Anne Raup, Anchorage Daily News, "'I was afraid the kids might wake up and scream’: Curious moose takes a long look into tent of urban campers," 15 Aug. 2019 The calls are typically done by the computer-savvy, people like hackers and gamers. Cnn.com Wire Service, The Mercury News, "Fortnite ‘swatting’: Armed police enter champion gamer’s home during livestream," 13 Aug. 2019 For customer care jobs, the company is looking for people who are computer savvy, have at least a high school diploma, and at least six months of customer service experience. Kara Carlson, Dallas News, "A family-owned company breathed life into a dead Atlanta mall. Now, it wants to do the same in southern Dallas," 18 July 2019 In our hit podcast series, successful women from all walks of life share their financial and career tips to help empower women and improve their financial savvy. WSJ, "Lesley Jane Seymour on How Women Can Reinvent Their Careers," 12 July 2019 The Pelicans, out of some combination of spite and savvy, refused to grant his wish. Thomas Beller, The New Yorker, "Russell Westbrook, Kawhi Leonard, Anthony Davis, and the N.B.A. Free-Agent Kaleidoscope," 12 July 2019 The event is for those who are not tech-savvy but want to learn the best way to create a digital product. Max Reyes, BostonGlobe.com, "Business agenda," 17 June 2019 And the supermarket is one of the most important places to be shopping-savvy. Katie Workman, Twin Cities, "8 tips for saving money on groceries," 24 July 2019 No one on the depth chart has his combination of pass-rush savvy and strength. Jonas Shaffer, baltimoresun.com, "The four most interesting position battles at Ravens training camp," 19 July 2019

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

savoyed

savoying

savs

savvy

saw

sawah

Sawākin

Statistics for savvy

Last Updated

5 Aug 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for savvy

The first known use of savvy was in 1686

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More Definitions for savvy

savvy

adjective

English Language Learners Definition of savvy

 (Entry 1 of 2)

US : 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

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More from Merriam-Webster on savvy

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with savvy

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for savvy

Nglish: Translation of savvy for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of savvy for Arabic Speakers

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