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

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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

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 To align themselves with the prevailing anticommunism of the day was shrewd, since the association of homosexuality with subversion had been a leading justification for purging gay people from sensitive government positions. James Kirchick, WSJ, "Stonewall Wasn’t the Start of the Gay Rights Struggle," 22 June 2019 In this shrewd examination of identity and belonging, Ms Di Pietrantonio ensures that her character’s loss is her reader’s gain. The Economist, "The story of a lost girl," 29 June 2019 This was a shrewd move by Netanyahu, who correctly recognized that Trump can be bought with just a bit of ego-stroking. Dana Milbank, chicagotribune.com, "Column: Israel builds Trump a Potemkin village," 20 June 2019 The shrewd senior setter tallied 547 assists and 31 aces in pacing the Panthers (20-1) to an undefeated regular season and a D1 South finals appearance, earning her Hockomock MVP honors. BostonGlobe.com, "2018-19 Girls' Volleyball All-Scholastics," 10 June 2019 This shrewd political operator doesn’t bother much with the minutiae of policy detail but aims to reach his followers at a deeper, more powerful gut level through beery, blokeish plain speaking. Jonathan Coe, Time, "How Brexit Broke Britain and Revealed a Country at War With Itself," 6 June 2019 The work was not only a brilliant exercise in reclamation but also an exploration of shifts in cultural temper and a shrewd meditation on biographical writing. Katherine A. Powers, WSJ, "‘L.E.L.’ Review: The Case of the ‘Female Byron’," 1 Mar. 2019 Phillips’s shrewd move is to avoid the first-person singular of the memoir. New York Times, "Two Writers Haunted by Their Caribbean Past," 22 June 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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Dictionary Entries near shrewd

Shreveport

Shreveporter

shrew

shrewd

shrewdy

shrewish

shrewly

Statistics for shrewd

Last Updated

18 Jul 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

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 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

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