\ 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 Bank lobbyists said pairing Waller and Shelton together was a shrewd move by the White House that could help ease Shelton’s confirmation. Washington Post, "GOP senators face new loyalty test: Whether to approve Trump’s controversial Fed nominee Judy Shelton," 6 Feb. 2020 And Dockery’s shrewd supporting turn aside, women generally get less screen time than the cars and cocktails do. Leah Greenblatt,, "Guy Ritchie gets his gangster ya-yas out again in The Gentlemen: Review," 23 Jan. 2020 The team’s decision to gamble on catcher Jonathan Lucroy reclaiming his career looks like a shrewd bet. Globe Staff,, "Titanium-reinforced Jonathan Lucroy seeks to rebuild his value," 28 Feb. 2020 Observatory staff say the problem cannot be avoided with software tweaks or shrewd telescope pointing. Daniel Clery, Science | AAAS, "Tens of thousands of communications satellites could spoil view of giant sky telescope," 27 Feb. 2020 The shrewd Oakland businessman is selling black hoodies ($70) and T-shirts ($39.95) at Ann Killion,, "Marshawn Lynch’s advice resonates after Antonio Brown, Luke Kuechly news," 15 Jan. 2020 Pullman turns a shrewd eye to institutional corruption, the casual evil of complicity, the systematic subjugation of the poor and the vulnerability of women navigating a man’s world. Ellen Morton, Washington Post, "Philip Pullman returns to the world of ‘His Dark Materials’ with ‘The Secret Commonwealth’," 21 Oct. 2019 Evaluate your financial situation with a shrewd eye. Tribune Content Agency,, "Horoscope July 15, 2019: Taurus, focus on inner beauty; Leo, dream big and bold," 15 July 2019 The image is rather appealing: fool’s cap and bells, the Elizabethan doublet, the shrewd old eyes darting about, the voice cackling puns and rhymes, barbs and shafts. Herb Caen, San Francisco Chronicle, "Tag, you’re it!, Herb Caen, 1976," 21 Mar. 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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Time Traveler for shrewd

Time Traveler

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

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Statistics for shrewd

Last Updated

27 Mar 2020

Cite this Entry

“Shrewd.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 9 Apr. 2020.

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More Definitions for shrewd


How to pronounce shrewd (audio)

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

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for shrewd

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with 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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