Definition of acumen in English:

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Pronunciation: /ˈakjʊmən/


[mass noun]
The ability to make good judgements and take quick decisions: she hides a shrewd business acumen
More example sentences
  • From as far back as he could remember, he'd had his own sense of business acumen.
  • He said pilots would be chosen for their tactical acumen, ability to learn quickly and common sense.
  • But generally I prefer policies that demonstrate a scintilla of common sense and financial acumen.
astuteness, awareness, shrewdness, acuity, sharpness, sharp-wittedness, cleverness, brightness, smartness;
judgement, understanding, sense, common sense, canniness, discernment, wisdom, wit, sagacity, perspicacity, ingenuity, insight, intuition, intuitiveness, perception, perspicuity, penetration;
capability, enterprise, initiative, resourcefulness, flair, vision;
brains, powers of reasoning;
French savoir faire
informal nous, savvy, know-how, horse sense, gumption, grey matter
British informal common
North American informal smarts
rare sapience, arguteness


Late 16th century: from Latin, 'sharpness, point', from acuere 'sharpen' (see acute).

  • Acumen is an adoption of a Latin word meaning ‘sharpness, point’, from acuere ‘sharpen’.

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