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[shrood] /ʃrud/
adjective, shrewder, shrewdest.
astute or sharp in practical matters:
a shrewd politician.
keen; piercing.
artful (def 1).
Archaic. malicious.
Obsolete. bad1 .
Obsolete. shrewish.
Origin of shrewd
1275-1325; Middle English shrewed, in part representing shrew1 + -ed3 (cf. dogged1, wicked); in part probably past participle of shrewen to curse, v. use of shrew1 (see -ed2)
Related forms
shrewdly, adverb
shrewdness, noun
unshrewd, adjective
unshrewdly, adverb
unshrewdness, noun
1. quick, discerning, perceptive, perspicacious, sagacious, keen; discriminating, intelligent. See acute. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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Examples from the Web for shrewdest
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • I consider him to have possessed the shrewdest insight into character.

  • The fox is the synonym of cunning, and will often outwit the shrewdest trapper.

    The Hunters of the Ozark Edward S. Ellis
  • But Indians have one peculiarity that will baffle even the shrewdest Jew.

    Pocket Island Charles Clark Munn
  • But by far the shrewdest blow to the Italianists was Wilson's Declaration.

  • Trade or talk of history with him, and he was found to be one of the shrewdest of men.

    Stories Of Georgia Joel Chandler Harris
  • He spoke of business like the shrewdest and readiest of practical men.

    Frenzied Finance Thomas W. Lawson
  • But the shrewdest man is liable to lose his head for the moment.

    In Brief Authority F. Anstey
British Dictionary definitions for shrewdest


astute and penetrating, often with regard to business
artful and crafty: a shrewd politician
  1. piercing: a shrewd wind
  2. spiteful
Derived Forms
shrewdly, adverb
shrewdness, noun
Word Origin
C14: from shrew (obsolete vb) to curse, from shrew
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 shrewdest



c.1300, "wicked, evil," from shrewe "wicked man" (see shrew). Cf. crabbed from crab (n.), dogged from dog (n.), wicked from witch (n.). The sense of "cunning" is first recorded 1510s. Related: Shrewdly; shrewdness. Strutt's "Sports and Pastimes of the People of England" (1801) has a shrewdness of apes for a company or group of them. Shrewdie "cunning person" is from 1916.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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