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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

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British Dictionary definitions for shrewdest

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 shrewdest

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