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

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 See More
Recent Examples on the Web Set in the early 16th century court of Henry VIII, Wolf Hall centers on the fascinating character of Cromwell, an ambitious, shrewd yet idealistic lawyer who becomes the volatile king's chief minister. Emma Dibdin, Town & Country, 11 Sep. 2022 The plan must be focused on shrewd matchups early with an eye on greater value as weeks progress. Lance Pugmire, USA TODAY, 31 Aug. 2022 The absolute Gulf monarchies who run their fiefdoms as family businesses had a shrewd understanding of where the power really resided in the Trump administration. Peter Bergen, CNN, 29 Aug. 2022 This shrewd late-summer diversion might have just the right amount of ridiculous, writes film critic Justin Chang. Amy Hubbard, Los Angeles Times, 19 Aug. 2022 Horgan’s Eva — especially when paired with Greene’s scene-stealing Bibi — is shrewd and dryly deadpan. Caroline Framke, Variety, 19 Aug. 2022 Every inch of the property has been considered, thanks to the shrewd eye of advertising executive and the brand’s creative director, Sir Frank Lowe, and Nicola Harding, who previously designed various spaces at the Surrey property. Bridget Arsenault, Forbes, 17 Aug. 2022 Buying the Oxford Street building was a shrewd investment. Alexander Smith, NBC News, 15 Aug. 2022 The deal appears to also be a shrewd move for Amazon, which can offer its Prime customers an appealing food delivery service in an asset-light fashion friendly to shareholders’ equity. Christiaan Hetzner, Fortune, 6 July 2022 See More

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.

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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Time Traveler for shrewd

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

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Dictionary Entries Near shrewd

shrew

shrewd

shrewdy

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Last Updated

16 Sep 2022

Cite this Entry

“Shrewd.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/shrewd. Accessed 29 Sep. 2022.

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More Definitions for shrewd

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

More from Merriam-Webster on shrewd

Nglish: Translation of shrewd for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of shrewd for Arabic Speakers

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