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shrewd

[shrood]
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adjective, shrewd·er, shrewd·est.
  1. astute or sharp in practical matters: a shrewd politician.
  2. keen; piercing.
  3. artful(def 1).
  4. Archaic. malicious.
  5. Obsolete. bad1.
  6. Obsolete. shrewish.
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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 formsshrewd·ly, adverbshrewd·ness, nounun·shrewd, adjectiveun·shrewd·ly, adverbun·shrewd·ness, noun

Synonyms

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1. quick, discerning, perceptive, perspicacious, sagacious, keen; discriminating, intelligent. See acute.
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for shrewd

Contemporary Examples

Historical Examples

  • Christine was not over-intelligent, perhaps, but she was shrewd.

    K

    Mary Roberts Rinehart

  • One was an elderly savage, with a wrinkled, shrewd countenance.

    The Leopard Woman

    Stewart Edward White

  • England had been shrewd enough to guarantee them their domains and revenues.

    In the Valley

    Harold Frederic

  • Some of his sayings were shrewd and sharp; but he was sometimes aggressive.

  • Oh, shrewd people, Mr Clennam: evidently people of business!

    Little Dorrit

    Charles Dickens


British Dictionary definitions for shrewd

shrewd

adjective
  1. astute and penetrating, often with regard to business
  2. artful and craftya shrewd politician
  3. obsolete
    1. piercinga shrewd wind
    2. spiteful
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Derived Formsshrewdly, adverbshrewdness, 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

Word Origin and History for shrewd

adj.

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.

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper