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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 shrewdness

Contemporary Examples

Historical Examples

  • Her ruse of spoliation within the law was evidence of her shrewdness, nothing more.

    Within the Law

    Marvin Dana

  • To this there was no reply; and they hated her the more for their having been silenced by her shrewdness.

  • Mr. Gordon believed that to shrewdness and persistence all things are possible.

  • He called upon all his shrewdness, all his trickiness of the South.

    A Spirit in Prison

    Robert Hichens

  • Also, at that time, he idolized his brother and believed in his shrewdness and capability.

    Cap'n Warren's Wards

    Joseph C. Lincoln


British Dictionary definitions for shrewdness

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 shrewdness

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