adjective, sav·vi·er, sav·vi·est.
  1. experienced, knowledgable, and well-informed; shrewd (often used in combination): consumers who are savvy about prices;a tech-savvy entrepreneur.
  1. Also sav·vi·ness. practical understanding; shrewdness or intelligence; common sense: a candidate who seemed to have no political savvy.
verb (used with or without object), sav·vied, sav·vy·ing.
  1. to know; understand.

Origin of savvy

1775–85; < Spanish sabe, present 3rd singular of saber to know < Latin sapere to be wise; see sapient Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

British Dictionary definitions for savviness


verb -vies, -vying or -vied
  1. to understand or get the sense of (an idea, etc)
  2. no savvy I don't (he doesn't, etc) understand
  1. comprehension
adjective -vier or -viest
  1. mainly US shrewd; well-informed

Word Origin for savvy

C18: corruption of Spanish sabe (usted) (you) know, from saber to know, from Latin sapere to be wise
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 savviness



1785, "practical sense, intelligence;" also a verb, "to know, to understand;" West Indies pidgin borrowing of French savez(-vous)? "do you know?" or Spanish sabe (usted) "you know," both from Vulgar Latin *sapere, from Latin sapere "be wise, be knowing" (see sapient). The adjective is first recorded 1905, from the noun. Related: Savvily; savviness.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper