street·​wise | \ ˈstrēt-ˌwīz How to pronounce streetwise (audio) \

Definition of streetwise

: 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 The quintessential scene pits Levee’s streetwise blasphemy against the religious Cutler (Colman Domingo). Armond White, National Review, "The Fiasco of Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom," 1 Jan. 2021 The newspaperman and author specialized in streetwise tales of New York City. oregonlive, "The departed: Heroes, celebrities and rogues, from Oregon and beyond, who died in 2020," 28 Dec. 2020 Via this cultural alchemy, urban school nerds were transformed into streetwise corner boys and girls in the cloisters of elite prep schools. Adolph Reed Jr., The New Republic, "TV Race Fables and the Privilege of a Raging Class," 22 Sep. 2020 Still, Jones’s designs have more of a streetwise edge. Barry Samaha, Harper's BAZAAR, "Kim Jones Is Fendi's New Artistic Director," 9 Sep. 2020 Though she was seen as more streetwise or tougher than her contemporaries, such as Mariah Carey, Blige’s vocals were both sweet and powerful. Hannah Giorgis, The Atlantic, "Hip-Hop and R&B Were Once Disparate. Andre Harrell Changed That.," 10 May 2020 In their first few seasons as competitors, Pochettino's side were seen as the more streetwise outfit, competent in defence and able to use a number of formations., "Liverpool & Tottenham Are Heading in Completely Different Directions After Years as Rivals," 29 Oct. 2019 Derby Dinner Playhouse presents the story of a streetwise kid who attempts to escape his dead-end life through dancing. Gege Reed, The Courier-Journal, "Louisville shows this week: Diana Ross, comedians Bert Kreischer and Nate Bargatze & more," 14 Feb. 2020 But that wasn’t the currency in play when Bob Ritchie, coming of age in the late ’80s and ’90s, shaped a sound and image that mixed streetwise flash with a trashy twist. Brian Mccollum, Detroit Free Press, "Kid Rock is still Kid Rock — it's the culture that has changed since he hit the scene," 8 Dec. 2019

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'streetwise.' 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 streetwise

1949, in the meaning defined above

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Time Traveler for streetwise

Time Traveler

The first known use of streetwise was in 1949

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Last Updated

12 Jan 2021

Cite this Entry

“Streetwise.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 5 Mar. 2021.

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English Language Learners Definition of streetwise

: having the knowledge needed to survive in difficult and dangerous places or situations in a city

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