[uh-kyoo-muh n, ak-yuh-]


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 formsa·cu·mi·nous [uh-kyoo-muh-nuh s] /əˈkyu mə nəs/, adjectiveun·a·cu·mi·nous, adjective Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for acumen

Contemporary Examples of acumen

Historical Examples of acumen

  • 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



the ability to judge well; keen discernment; insight
Derived Formsacuminous, adjective

Word Origin for acumen

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

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