street·​wise ˈstrēt-ˌwīz How to pronounce streetwise (audio)
: possessing the skills and attitudes necessary to survive in a difficult or dangerous situation or environment

Examples of streetwise in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web Our conscious experience is assembled on the fly as our brains respond to constantly changing inputs, calculate potential courses of action, and execute responses like a streetwise kid. Michael S Gazzaniga, Discover Magazine, 29 Feb. 2012 Most recently, Bella has favored a streetwise approach to dressing, combining her love for athleisure and sportswear with more fashion-forward collectibles—including square-toe boots, ’90s shoulder bags, and vintage Jean Paul Gaultier. Christian Allaire, Vogue, 15 Mar. 2022 She Talks to Rainbows, and Amy Winehouse, whose throwback image and sound in the mid-2000s suggested nothing so much as a more streetwise and tougher-luck Ronnie Spector. Andrew Unterberger, Billboard, 12 Jan. 2022 Adored by everyone from streetwise musicians to grumpy dowagers, the Vuitton bag has been worn by shining stars including, to name just a very few, Audrey Hepburn and Jackie O! Lynn Yaeger, Vogue, 5 Oct. 2021 The guy loved Seaver because Seaver did not have to be streetwise. Harper's Magazine, 28 Sep. 2021 Those exchanges gave Gout permission to pepper the screenplay with personal details and sharpen the dialogue of the Latino characters with streetwise Mexican modismos. Sergio Burstein, Los Angeles Times, 7 July 2021 The quintessential scene pits Levee’s streetwise blasphemy against the religious Cutler (Colman Domingo). Armond White, National Review, 1 Jan. 2021 The newspaperman and author specialized in streetwise tales of New York City. oregonlive, 28 Dec. 2020 See More

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'streetwise.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

First Known Use

1949, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of streetwise was in 1949

Dictionary Entries Near streetwise

Cite this Entry

“Streetwise.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 24 Feb. 2024.

Kids Definition


street·​wise ˈstrēt-ˌwīz How to pronounce streetwise (audio)
: having the knowledge needed to survive in difficult or dangerous places or situations in a city

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