from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition.

  • adjective Having or showing shrewdness and discernment, especially with respect to one's own concerns. synonym: shrewd.

from The Century Dictionary.

  • Of keen penetration or discernment; cunning; sagacious.
  • Synonyms Sagacious, Sage, Knowing, Astute, Subtle. Sagacious and sage are used only in good senses, and when applied to persons generally suggest the wisdom of age or experience. The knowing man has wide knowledge and often penetration. The word knowing has also a humorous cast: as, he gave me a knowing wink; it may be used ironically: as, he is a little too knowing, that is, he thinks he knows more than he does; it may be used of knowing more than one has a right to know; it sometimes suggests a disposition to make ill use of knowledge: as, a knowing leer. Astute is often the same as sagacious, but is susceptible of an unfavorable sense in the direction of a narrow shrewdness, slyness, or cunning; it often means a sagacity that knows how to be silent; it is frequently applied to looks. Subtle, in its good sense, implies great acuteness, delicacy, or refinement in mental action: as, a subtle reasoner. For its bad sense, see cunning.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English.

  • adjective Critically discerning; sagacious; shrewd; subtle; crafty.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.

  • adjective quickly and critically discerning
  • adjective shrewd or crafty

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

  • adjective marked by practical hardheaded intelligence


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

[Latin astūtus, from astus, craft; see wes- in Indo-European roots.]

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

Latin astūtus, from astuscraft’.


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  • While Bernard Gunderson was known as an astute businessman with a knack for good timing, Phillips said that above all, he lived a quiet, principled life. 2012

  • The deal allies the bank with a billionaire investor known as an astute judge of value, who emerged during the financial crisis as an outspoken advocate of investing in America's future.

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  • By the end of the evening I found myself recalling the astute diagnosis of a friend: "He doesn't just speak fluent German; he speaks fluent Western, too."

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  • Most so-called astute mortgage shoppers think they should call around to shop rates.

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  • Had Eustache been more astute, that is to say, less greedy, he would have waited, and not till they had returned to the University, to Maître Andry Musnier’s house in the Rue Madame-la-Valence, and he had put the two arms of the Seine and the five bridges of the city between the Rat-Hole and the cake, would he have hazarded this question.

    III. The Story of a Wheaten Cake. Book VI 1917

  • He even called the astute Terrapin a humbug, and toward midnight grew quarrelsome.

    Bohemian Days Three American Tales George Alfred Townsend 1877

  • [136] Ryland street recalls the astute and able secretary and adviser to many Governors, the Hon.

    Picturesque Quebec : a sequel to Quebec past and present 1868

  • While the controlling Kwok family are known as astute investors, veering so clearly away from a core business is usually a red flag. - Top Stories 2011

  • While his supporters would characterize him as "astute" and his critics as "devious," few could reasonably disagree that Fowler was the main mover in the APA for the fifteen years leading up to the torture debacle.

    Bryant Welch: Torture, Psychology, and Daniel Inouye: The True Story Behind Psychology's Role in Torture 2009

  • And only someone who calls himself "astute" could take a comment in a blog out of context.

    Deval Patrick is shocked 2009


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  • Worf used this word when Data was talking about a robotic arm that grabbed him.

    June 12, 2012