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Webster 1913 Edition


Shrewd

Shrewd

,
Adj.
[
Com
par.
Shrewder
;
sup
erl.
Shrewdest
.]
[Originally the p. p. of
shrew
, v.t.]
1.
Inclining to shrew; disposing to curse or scold; hence, vicious; malicious; evil; wicked; mischievous; vexatious; rough; unfair; shrewish.
[Obs.]
Chaucer.
[Egypt] hath many
shrewd
havens, because of the great rocks that ben strong and dangerous to pass by.
Sir J. Mandeville.
Every of this happy number
That have endured
shrewd
days and nights with us.
Shakespeare
2.
Artful; wily; cunning; arch.
These women are
shrewd
tempters with their tongues.
Shakespeare
3.
Able or clever in practical affairs; sharp in business; astute; sharp-witted; sagacious; keen;
as, a
shrewd
observer; a
shrewd
design; a
shrewd
reply.
Professing to despise the ill opinion of mankind creates a
shrewd
suspicion that we have deserved it.
Secker.
Syn. – Keen; critical; subtle; artful; astute; sagacious; discerning; acute; penetrating.
Shrewd
,
Sagacious
. One who is shrewd is keen to detect errors, to penetrate disguises, to foresee and guard against the selfishness of others. Shrewd is a word of less dignity than sagacious, which implies a comprehensive as well as penetrating mind, whereas shrewd does not.
Shrewd′ly
,
adv.
Shrewd′ness
,
Noun.

Webster 1828 Edition


Shrewd

SHREWD

,
Adj.
1. Having the qualities of a shrew; vexatious; troublesome; mischievous. Obs.
2. Sly; cunning; arch; subtil; artful; astute; as a shrewd man.
3. Sagacious; of nice discernment; as a shrewd observer of men.
4. Proceeding from cunning or sagacity, or containing it; as a shrewd saying; a shrewd conjecture.
5. Painful; vexatious; troublesome.
Every of this number
That have endured shrewd nights and days with us. Obs. Shak.
No enemy is so despicable but he may do one a shrewd turn. Obs.

Definition 2022


shrewd

shrewd

English

Adjective

shrewd (comparative shrewder, superlative shrewdest)

  1. showing clever resourcefulness in practical matters
  2. artful, tricky or cunning
  3. streetwise
    • 2003, Ron Ross, Bummy Davis vs. Murder, Inc, page 287:
      Willie is very aware of this fact and lets Johnny Attell know that there is a fly in the ointment, and Johnny, who is a very shrewd article, has his chauffeur drive him to Bradford Street so he can change the kid's mind.
  4. knowledgeable
    • 2011 November 10, Jeremy Wilson, “tEngland Under 21 5 Iceland Under 21 0: match report”, in Telegraph:
      The most persistent tormentor was Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, who scored a hat-trick in last month’s corresponding fixture in Iceland. His ability to run at defences is instantly striking, but it is his clever use of possession that has persuaded some shrewd judges that he is an even better prospect than Theo Walcott.
  5. (archaic) Scolding, satirical, sharp.

Derived terms

Translations