\ 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 Wu-Tang auctioned off the album, which was both lambasted as an elitist stunt-art hoax and embraced as a shrewd protest against digitization’s erosion of music’s value, for half that price in 2015. Elias Leight, Rolling Stone, 20 Oct. 2021 Though Biden quickly walked back that comment, his blunt assertion underlined his pursuit of a two-track approach that has proven — so far— to be politically shrewd. Los Angeles Times, 8 Aug. 2021 Many analysts viewed it as a shrewd tactical move to soothe the concerns of the United States and the international community following the withdrawal of U.S. troops. Washington Post, 3 Sep. 2021 When healthy, Samuel has been explosive and productive, so selecting him in the middle to late rounds of a draft could be a shrewd move. Jon Heath, USA TODAY, 27 Aug. 2021 So Showalter, who based the film on Fenton Bailey and Randy Barbato’s 2000 documentary of the same name (the script is by the TV-series scribe Abe Sylvia), made the shrewd decision to play it all straight. Owen Gleiberman, Variety, 12 Sep. 2021 The Cincinnati Reds had a four-run lead, negated a run with a shrewd replay review, made a few highlight defensive plays and still ended up with a 6-4 loss Saturday at Busch Stadium. Bobby Nightengale, The Enquirer, 12 Sep. 2021 Ellis, the waiver claim from the Tampa Bay Rays who out of necessity slid right into the rotation for the Orioles, has looked like a shrewd pickup. Jon Meoli,, 11 Sep. 2021 Since then, he has been repeatedly enlisted to help develop and refine new productions, a shrewd choice for creators looking to tap into the alchemy of intellect and emotional intuition evident in both his work and conversation. New York Times, 6 Sep. 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.

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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

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

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Last Updated

22 Oct 2021

Cite this Entry

“Shrewd.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 27 Oct. 2021.

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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

More from Merriam-Webster on shrewd

Nglish: Translation of shrewd for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of shrewd for Arabic Speakers


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