\ 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

Keep scrolling for more

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 Erling Haaland has been linked with a move to United with the Norwegian being publicly touted around Europe’s biggest clubs by his noxiously shrewd agent, Mino Raiola. Graham Ruthven, Forbes, "Edinson Cavani Decision Will Shape Manchester United’s Summer Transfer Business," 27 Apr. 2021 Or, since creating successful new franchises is no easy proposition, did the company make a shrewd business move that will pay dividends for years to come? New York Times, "With ‘Knives Out’ Deal, Netflix Signals It’s in the Franchise Business," 19 Apr. 2021 Perhaps the most shrewd Oscar campaigner, producer Harvey Weinstein used that reputation to elevate Miramax and the Weinstein Company. Sonia Rao, Washington Post, "Why do the Oscars matter?," 16 Apr. 2021 Gwen, who possesses a more shrewd perception of his grandmother’s vast collection, notes the importance of the art objects, texts and other Black cultural ephemera that Julian is perhaps too eager to discount. Sarah-tai Black, Los Angeles Times, "Review: A Black commune weighs the past, present and future in ‘The Inheritance’," 11 Mar. 2021 As her catalogue grew more valuable over time, the ever-shrewd Swift tried to buy the masters for her first six albums from Big Machine. Carrie Battan, The New Yorker, "Taylor Swift Wins with “Fearless (Taylor’s Version)”," 12 Apr. 2021 Policymakers will need to be very shrewd to navigate among changing technologies and experts with conflicts of interest to accomplish infrastructure investment in an efficient way. Arkansas Online, "Want some cash?," 10 Apr. 2021 Now, after some shrewd signings -- most notably Jarrod Bowen and Tomáš Souček -- and some good form, Moyes has players and fans dreaming of an European adventure. Amanda Davies & Steven Poole, CNN, "From Manchester United to fruit delivery: David Moyes' long journey to the East End of London," 2 Apr. 2021 Hussle, who made his name as a shrewd entrepreneur with fierce authenticity, was an avid basketball fan who cheered on the Lake Show. Los Angeles Times, "LeBron James honors Lakers fan and rap legend Nipsey Hussle two years after his death," 31 Mar. 2021

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.

See More

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

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about shrewd

Time Traveler for shrewd

Time Traveler

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

See more words from the same century

Statistics for shrewd

Last Updated

7 May 2021

Cite this Entry

“Shrewd.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 11 May. 2021.

Style: MLA
MLACheck Mark Icon ChicagoCheck Mark Icon APACheck Mark Icon Merriam-WebsterCheck Mark Icon

Keep scrolling for more

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

Comments on shrewd

What made you want to look up shrewd? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


Test Your Vocabulary

Star Wars Words Quiz

  • cu jedi training
  • The bounty portion of bounty hunters (such as Boba Fett) comes from a Latin word meaning
How Strong Is Your Vocabulary?

Test your vocabulary with our 10-question quiz!

 AlphaBear 2

Spell words. Make bears.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!