\ 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

However, the business that was carried out on Thursday was shrewd and intelligent - only adding to their strength., "Deadline Day: Why Tottenham's Business Makes Them Premier League Title Contenders," 9 Aug. 2019 This week someone in close connection may have a better understanding of how to make profitable and shrewd decisions. Tribune Content Agency,, "Horoscope for July 21, 2019: Happy birthday Diane Guerrero; Scorpio, now is the time to expand your horizons," 21 July 2019 Observers have remarked for weeks that this protest movement – which has expanded its mission from axing the extradition legislation to demanding direct elections for chief executive – is a leaderless movement, creative, nimble, messy, and shrewd. Suzanne Sataline, The Christian Science Monitor, "Hong Kong protests: Is anyone in charge?," 9 July 2019 What if your name, a moniker that once stood for a shrewd, apolitical and staccato-styled observer of human behavior, is now viewed as a baked-in and widely unwelcome ideological position? Chris Jones,, "For ‘Bitter Wheat,’ David Mamet chose to write about Harvey Weinstein. It deserves the slams — but is different from what you’ve heard," 25 June 2019 Obviously, Springsteen and Madonna are both serious pros, hardened and shrewd enough to anticipate the skepticism of passersby. Chris Richards, Washington Post, "Bruce Springsteen and Madonna are subcultures now," 17 June 2019 However, most in the cast are up to snuff, including Melville himself as Olivia’s shrewd fool Feste. Los Angeles Times, "Review: A ‘Twelfth Night’ to outrage Shakespeare purists with delightful defilement for the rest of us," 28 July 2019 The company’s future, it’s been argued, doesn’t lie in its main Facebook app, but rather the series of shrewd and expensive acquisitions and developments the company has made in recent years. Mike Murphy, Quartz, "Billions and billions in fines can’t seem to hurt Facebook," 24 July 2019 For now, Minnesota continues to sign shrewd, low-risk deals. Jace Frederick, Twin Cities, "Timberwolves appear to be saving for a big 2020 offseason," 10 July 2019

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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Statistics for shrewd

Last Updated

15 Aug 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



English Language Learners Definition of shrewd

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


\ 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

Comments on shrewd

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of or relating to the heavens

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