Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • adj. Characterized by keen awareness, sharp intelligence, and often a sense of the practical.
  • adj. Disposed to artful and cunning practices; tricky.
  • adj. Sharp; penetrating: a shrewd wind.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • adj. showing clever resourcefulness in practical matters
  • adj. artful, tricky or cunning
  • adj. streetwise
  • adj. knowledgeable
  • adj. Scolding, satirical, sharp.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • adj. Inclining to shrew; disposing to curse or scold; hence, vicious; malicious; evil; wicked; mischievous; vexatious; rough; unfair; shrewish.
  • adj. Artful; wily; cunning; arch.
  • adj. Able or clever in practical affairs; sharp in business; astute; sharp-witted; sagacious; keen

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • Evil; accursed; malignant; wicked.
  • Having a curst temper; scolding; vixenish; shrewish.
  • Annoying; mischievous; vexatious; troublesome; malicious.
  • Sharp: keen; biting; harsh.
  • Sly; canning; artful; spiteful.
  • Astute; sagacious; discriminating; discerning; smart; sharp: as, a shrewd man of the world.
  • Indicating shrewdness; due to shrewdness; involving or displaying sagacity or astuteness: as, a shrewd remark; a shrewd face.
  • Synonyms Artful, Sly, etc., (see cunning), wily, subtle.
  • Acute, Keen, etc. (see acute), discerning, penetrating, politic, ingenious.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • adj. used of persons
  • adj. marked by practical hardheaded intelligence

Etymologies

Middle English shrewed, wicked, from shrew, rascal; see shrew.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
From Middle English shrewe ("evil man"). See shrew (Wiktionary)

Examples

  • But Manning claims it was Katherine, not Joe, who gave Michael Jackson his business sense, which he described as shrewd and fair.

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  • Scrimgeour stopped too, leaned on his stick and stared at Harry, his expression shrewd now.

    Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince

  • Trae said, "He is described as a shrewd man and an astute judge of character."

    Ishmael

  • Inclined toward Communism to meet the social and political demands of his teeming peoples, he does not openly break with the West in shrewd calculation that only thence can flow the capital and technical know-how to ensure his country's economic survival and its development.

    Muslim and Hindu

  • "The home conversation was rich in shrewd remarks, bright with playfulness and humour and occasional flashes of wit."

    Jane Austen: Her Homes and Her Friends

  • His face was long and thin, his expression shrewd and good-natured, his limbs were long and ungainly.

    The Young Miner or Tom Nelson in California

  • As reports, brother Saif, 40, is known as a shrewd operator and canny businessman, while 39-year-old Saadi enjoyed a brief Italian soccer career.

    The Full Feed from HuffingtonPost.com

  • The company is known as a shrewd operator, able to extract efficiencies and savings at every level of business.

    www.startribune.com

  • She soon became known as a shrewd business person, not allowing herself to be shortchanged by those eager to buy some of her properties at prices below the current market value.

    LJWorld.com stories: News

  • She was not what they call shrewd or sharp at all -- better she had been. "

    The Mayor of Casterbridge

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