Shrewd Shrewd, a. [Compar. {Shrewder}; superl. {Shrewdest}.] [Originally the p. p. of shrew, v.t.] 1. Inclining to shrew; disposing to curse or scold; hence, vicious; malicious; evil; wicked; mischievous; vexatious; rough; unfair; shrewish. [Obs.] --Chaucer. [1913 Webster]

[Egypt] hath many shrewd havens, because of the great rocks that ben strong and dangerous to pass by. --Sir J. Mandeville. [1913 Webster]

Every of this happy number That have endured shrewd days and nights with us. --Shak. [1913 Webster]

2. Artful; wily; cunning; arch. [1913 Webster]

These women are shrewd tempters with their tongues. --Shak. [1913 Webster]

3. Able or clever in practical affairs; sharp in business; astute; sharp-witted; sagacious; keen; as, a shrewd observer; a shrewd design; a shrewd reply. [1913 Webster]

Professing to despise the ill opinion of mankind creates a shrewd suspicion that we have deserved it. --Secker. [1913 Webster]

Syn: Keen; critical; subtle; artful; astute; sagacious; discerning; acute; penetrating.

Usage: {Shrewd}, {Sagacious}. One who is shrewd is keen to detect errors, to penetrate disguises, to foresee and guard against the selfishness of others. Shrewd is a word of less dignity than sagacious, which implies a comprehensive as well as penetrating mind, whereas shrewd does not. [1913 Webster] -- {Shrewd"ly}, adv. -- {Shrewd"ness}, n. [1913 Webster]

The Collaborative International Dictionary of English. 2000.


Look at other dictionaries:

  • shrewd — shrewd, sagacious, perspicacious, astute can all mean acute in perception and sound in judgment, especially in reference to practical affairs. Shrewd implies native cleverness, acumen, and an exceptional ability to see below the surface; it often …   New Dictionary of Synonyms

  • shrewd — UK US /ʃruːd/ adjective ► able to judge people and situations well and make good decisions: »My one big regret is about money I wish I d been more shrewd. »Simon is an extremely shrewd businessman. »The time is ripe for shrewd investors to make a …   Financial and business terms

  • shrewd — [ʃru:d] adj [Date: 1200 1300; Origin: shrew in the old meaning very bad man ] 1.) good at judging what people or situations are really like ▪ Malcolm is a shrewd and realistic businessman. ▪ She was shrewd enough to guess who was responsible. ▪… …   Dictionary of contemporary English

  • shrewd — [ ʃrud ] adjective * 1. ) able to judge people and situations very well and make good decisions: a shrewd politician a ) used about decisions and judgments: a shrewd marketing strategy 2. ) good at tricking people to get something you want: a… …   Usage of the words and phrases in modern English

  • shrewd — shrewd; shrewd·ly; shrewd·ness; …   English syllables

  • shrewd — [shro͞od] adj. [ME schrewed, pp. of schrewen, to curse < schrewe: see SHREW] 1. Obs. a) evil, bad, wicked, mischievous, shrewish, etc. b) artful, cunning, wily, etc. in one s dealings with others 2. keen witted, clever, or sharp in practical… …   English World dictionary

  • shrewd — index artful, judicious, machiavellian, perceptive, perspicacious, politic, practiced, prudent, resourceful …   Law dictionary

  • shrewd — c.1300, wicked, evil, from shrewe wicked man (see SHREW (Cf. shrew)). Cf. crabbed from CRAB (Cf. crab), dogged from DOG (Cf. dog), wicked from WITCH (Cf. witch). The sense …   Etymology dictionary

  • shrewd — [adj] clever, intelligent acute, argute, artful, astucious, astute, brainy*, cagey, calculating, canny, crafty, cunning, cutting*, deep*, discerning, discriminating, farsighted, foxy*, heady*, ingenious, inside, in the know*, judicious, keen,… …   New thesaurus

  • shrewd — ► ADJECTIVE ▪ having or showing sharp powers of judgement; astute. DERIVATIVES shrewdly adverb shrewdness noun. ORIGIN originally in the sense «evil in nature or character»: from SHREW(Cf. ↑shrew) in the obsolete sense «evil person or thing», or… …   English terms dictionary

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