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shrewd Line breaks: shrewd
Pronunciation: /ʃruːd/

Definition of shrewd in English:


1Having or showing sharp powers of judgement; astute: she was shrewd enough to guess the motive behind his gesture a shrewd career move
More example sentences
  • Pitt made his way to power more by shrewd political judgement and sheer luck than by public acclaim.
  • Your admirers and detractors alike have used these terms - an astute politician, shrewd, cunning - to characterise you.
  • He was a very shrewd, very sharp head of the Securities and Exchange Commission.
astute, sharp-witted, sharp, acute, intelligent, clever, alert, canny, media-savvy, perceptive, perspicacious, observant, discriminating, sagacious, sage, wise, far-seeing, far-sighted;
cunning, artful, crafty, wily, calculating, disingenuous
informal on the ball, smart, savvy
British informal suss
Scottish & Northern English informal pawky
North American informal heads-up
rare long-headed, sapient, argute
(be shrewd) have all one's wits about one
2 archaic (Especially of weather) piercingly cold: a shrewd east wind
2.1(Of a blow) severe: a bayonet’s shrewd thrust
2.2Mischievous; malicious.


Pronunciation: /ˈʃruːdnəs/
Example sentences
  • Success in such great affairs is not a matter of cleverness, or even shrewdness, but instead a matter of honorable conduct and mutual confidence.
  • He is a man of some tactical shrewdness and no discernible principles.
  • Whether it is calculated shrewdness or insanity is the question at the heart of the nuclear stand-off.
astuteness, sharp-wittedness, sharpness, acuteness, acumen, acuity, intelligence, cleverness, smartness, alertness, wit, canniness, common sense, discernment, insight, understanding, penetration, perception, perceptiveness, perspicacity, perspicaciousness, discrimination, knowledge, sagacity, sageness;
cunning, artfulness, craftiness, wiliness, calculation, calculatedness
informal nous, horse sense, savvy
rare sapience, arguteness


Middle English (in the sense 'evil in nature or character'): from shrew in the sense 'evil person or thing', or as the past participle of obsolete shrew 'to curse'. The word developed the sense 'cunning', and gradually gained a favourable connotation during the 17th century.

Words that rhyme with shrewd

allude, brood, collude, conclude, crude, delude, dude, elude, étude, exclude, extrude, exude, feud, food, illude, include, intrude, Jude, lewd, mood, nude, obtrude, occlude, Oudh, preclude, protrude, prude, pseud, pultrude, rood, rude, seclude, snood, transude, unglued, unsubdued, who'd, you'd
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