shrewd

adjective
\ ˈshrüd How to pronounce shrewd (audio) , especially Southern ˈsrüd\

Definition of shrewd

1a : marked by clever discerning awareness and hardheaded acumen shrewd common sense
b : given to wily and artful ways or dealing a shrewd operator
2a : severe, hard a shrewd knock
b : sharp, piercing a shrewd wind
3 archaic : mischievous
4 obsolete : abusive, shrewish
5 obsolete : ominous, dangerous

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Other Words from shrewd

shrewdly adverb
shrewdness noun

Choose the Right Synonym for shrewd

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

Examples of shrewd in a Sentence

According to Frank Luntz, Republican pollster and spinmeister, these younger working women with small children are critical swing voters. By dint of focus groups and shrewd professional questioning, Luntz has determined what these women need most—more time in their lives. He seemed to regard this finding as a considerable coup. — Molly Ivins, Mother Jones, September/October 2004 When Ann Richards fractured her hand in a fall nine years ago, she went to the doctor for a bone density test only to learn that she had … an early form of osteoporosis. The diagnosis spurred the former Texas governor, whose mother and grandmother also suffered from the disease, to write I'm Not Slowing Down: Winning My Battle with Osteoporosis … an inspiring little volume filled with the author's shrewd insights into healthcare, gender and, yes, politics. — Julie Hale, Book Page, August 2003 One shrewd political tactician who knew what it was like to lose a close election watched Goldwater closely. Nixon had an eye on a comeback in 1968 and knew he needed the South—all of it this time. — Jon Meacham, Newsweek, 23 Dec. 2002 But a growing empire produces tough challenges. Winfrey is used to ironclad control. A shrewd businesswoman, she still signs all the checks of more than $1,000 for her Harpo Entertainment Group, and she meticulously scrutinizes the smaller ones that others sign for her. — Lynette Clemetson, Newsweek, 8 Jan. 2001 She's shrewd about her investments. a shrewd used car dealer who knew how to make the best possible deal
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Recent Examples on the Web

Working with veteran casting director Avy Kaufman, Layton made shrewd choices for the actors playing the quartet, and selecting gifted players who are not yet household names adds to the story's verisimilitude. Kenneth Turan, latimes.com, "True-life heist story 'American Animals' is one of summer's freshest and most entertaining films," 31 May 2018 That hasn’t stopped some sycophantic Republicans and shrewd foreign leaders from stroking Trump’s ego by declaring him the winner though. Adam K. Raymond, Daily Intelligencer, "‘Everyone Thinks So, But I Would Never Say It’: Trump on Whether He Deserves Nobel," 9 May 2018 An eight-week course uses sensors, intensive exercise, classwork, and shrewd mentorship to peel back the human body and mind, and expose any weakness. Joe Pappalardo, Popular Mechanics, "What Happened When I Trained With Air Force Human Performance Specialists," 12 Feb. 2019 It’s time for the Blumhouse empire, the shrewd paragon of the off-formula low-budget genre picture, to take this performer off the sidelines and onto her own damn movie. Michael Phillips, chicagotribune.com, "'Upgrade' review: Digital cockroaches replace human brains in this extremely gory thriller," 31 May 2018 Tyler Perry as Colin Powell Photo: Annapurna Pictures Others in the cast are enjoyable too: Steve Carell as Donald Rumsfeld; Sam Rockwell as George W. Bush and Amy Adams as a shrewd and steely Lynne Cheney. Joe Morgenstern, WSJ, "‘Vice’ Review: Comedy Without Gravity," 22 Dec. 2018 But more fundamentally, her reputation as a shrewd and effective leader dates back to the huge fight over privatizing Social Security in the mid-aughts. Matthew Yglesias, Vox, "The time Nancy Pelosi saved Social Security," 21 Nov. 2018 But Butler said Rosenstein was more shrewd and strategic than his aw-shucks mannerism leads some to believe. Matt Zapotosky, Washington Post, "‘A little steel in the spine’: Rod Rosenstein, facing mounting criticism from Congress, is starting to fight back," 7 July 2018 The shrewd move follows in the footsteps of her husband Justin, who, just prior to getting married in October, shaved off his signature surfer locks in favor of a dramatic buzz cut. Christian Allaire, Vogue, "Hailey Bieber’s New Chop Proves Why a Fresh Cut Is Worth a Thousand Words," 13 Dec. 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'shrewd.' 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 shrewd

13th century, in the meaning defined at sense 3

History and Etymology for shrewd

Middle English shrewed, from shrewe + -ed entry 1

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Dictionary Entries near shrewd

Shreveport

Shreveporter

shrew

shrewd

shrewdy

shrewish

shrewly

Statistics for shrewd

Last Updated

25 Apr 2019

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Time Traveler for shrewd

The first known use of shrewd was in the 13th century

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More Definitions for shrewd

shrewd

adjective

English Language Learners Definition of shrewd

: having or showing an ability to understand things and to make good judgments : mentally sharp or clever

shrewd

adjective
\ ˈshrüd How to pronounce shrewd (audio) \
shrewder; shrewdest

Kids Definition of shrewd

: showing quick practical cleverness a shrewd businessman

Other Words from shrewd

shrewdly adverb
shrewdness noun

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More from Merriam-Webster on shrewd

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with shrewd

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for shrewd

Spanish Central: Translation of shrewd

Nglish: Translation of shrewd for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of shrewd for Arabic Speakers

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