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[uh-stoot, uh-styoot]
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  1. of keen penetration or discernment; sagacious: an astute analysis.
  2. clever; cunning; ingenious; shrewd: an astute merchandising program; an astute manipulation of facts.

Origin of astute

1605–15; < Latin astūtus shrewd, sly, cunning, equivalent to astū- (stem of astus) cleverness + -tus adj. suffix
Related formsas·tute·ly, adverbas·tute·ness, noun


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1. smart, quick, perceptive. 2. artful, crafty, wily, sly.
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for astuteness

Historical Examples

  • He has developed the astuteness of the devil, the open sincerity of a saint.

    Blood and Iron

    John Hubert Greusel

  • His astuteness was slipping from him, even while he bragged of it.

    The Huntress

    Hulbert Footner

  • But the astuteness of my veteran circumvented all these plans.

    Captain Canot

    Brantz Mayer

  • The value of astuteness is that it protects us from the astute.

  • The astuteness of William of Orange had in this instance been deceived.

British Dictionary definitions for astuteness


  1. having insight or acumen; perceptive; shrewd
Derived Formsastutely, adverbastuteness, noun

Word Origin

C17: from Latin astūtus cunning, from astus (n) cleverness
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

Word Origin and History for astuteness



1610s, from Latin astutus "crafty, wary, shrewd; sagacious, expert," from astus "cunning, cleverness, adroitness," of uncertain origin, perhaps from Greek asty "town," a word borrowed into Latin and with an overtone of "city sophistication" (cf. asteism). Related: Astutely; astuteness.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper