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[uh-kyoo-muh n, ak-yuh-] /əˈkyu mən, ˈæk yə-/
keen insight; shrewdness:
remarkable acumen in business matters.
Origin of acumen
1525-35; < Latin acūmen sharpness, equivalent to acū- (stem of acuere to sharpen; see acute) + -men noun suffix
Related forms
[uh-kyoo-muh-nuh s] /əˈkyu mə nəs/ (Show IPA),
unacuminous, adjective Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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Examples from the Web for acumen
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • Yet the old man's confidence in the young man's acumen was invulnerable.

    The Spenders Harry Leon Wilson
  • That did not seem likely to one who esteemed Mrs. Hallam's acumen as highly as Kirkwood did.

    The Black Bag Louis Joseph Vance
  • She set too high value upon her acumen, upon the keenness of her instincts.

    The Lion's Skin Rafael Sabatini
  • He was not disappointed, which he regarded as proof of acumen; but he was surprised by his surroundings.

    Mixed Faces Roy Norton
  • The acumen displayed at these conventions is profound and impressive.

British Dictionary definitions for acumen


/ˈækjʊˌmɛn; əˈkjuːmən/
the ability to judge well; keen discernment; insight
Derived Forms
acuminous, adjective
Word Origin
C16: from Latin: sharpness, from acuere to sharpen, from acus needle
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for acumen

1530s, from Latin acumen "a point, sting," hence "mental sharpness, shrewdness," from acuere "to sharpen" (see acuity).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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