shrewd

adjective
\ˈshrüd, especially Southern ˈsrüd\

Definition of shrewd 

1 archaic : mischievous

2 obsolete : abusive, shrewish

3 obsolete : ominous, dangerous

4a : severe, hard a shrewd knock

b : sharp, piercing a shrewd wind

5a : marked by clever discerning awareness and hardheaded acumen shrewd common sense

b : given to wily and artful ways or dealing a shrewd operator

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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

This wasn’t the occasion to listen for its full capabilities, but rather for shrewd coloristic choices. Peter Dobrin, Philly.com, "Wanamaker organist Conte brings thrilling color to mostly drab Philadelphia Orchestra program," 6 May 2018 As a burgeoning politician, indulging in writing is not as not as shrewd as say, taking up golf as a hobby in order to better network with the higher-ups. Nicola Pardy, refinery29.com, "Stacey Abrams’ Alter Ego Might Be The Key To Winning Georgia’s Election," 25 May 2018 But Read’s pricing game plan didn’t seem so shrewd when President Trump entered the picture last week. Kate Sheridan, STAT, "How Pfizer’s CEO flew under the political radar with price hikes — until he tangled with Trump," 13 July 2018 In the Bible, this king eventually gets outsmarted by a Jewish orphan named Esther, her cousin Mordecai and a group of shrewd resisters. Rachel Held Evans, Washington Post, "The Bible is literature for the resistance," 12 July 2018 Raymond and Philippa married and, through royal favor and shrewd money management, became incredibly wealthy. Anne Thériault, Longreads, "Queens of Infamy: Joanna of Naples," 3 July 2018 Soriano positioning himself as a Trump-friendly designer just as high fashion gave the Trumps the cold shoulder was shrewd. Elizabeth Raiss, refinery29.com, "Who Is Andre Soriano, The Gay, Immigrant Designer Obsessed With Donald Trump?," 27 June 2018 Mr Fico, a shrewd but cynical operator who ran the country largely uninterrupted after 2006, oversaw a rotten system that shattered trust and weakened institutions. The Economist, "A struggle between authoritarians and liberals in the heart of Europe," 26 May 2018 Getting Cousins late last season in a trade from Sacramento has proven to be a shrewd move. Ron Higgins, NOLA.com, "The end should just be the beginning for the New Orleans Pelicans," 9 May 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 1

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

10 Oct 2018

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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 \
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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Comments on shrewd

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