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

  • adjective Well informed and perceptive; shrewd.
  • adjective Knowledgeable or proficient. Often used in combination.
  • noun Practical understanding or shrewdness.
  • transitive & intransitive verb To understand; comprehend.

from The Century Dictionary.

  • To know; understand; “twig”: as, do you savvy that?
  • To possess knowledge.
  • noun General cleverness; knowledge of the world: as, he has lots of savvy.

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

  • noun Slang, U. S. Comprehension; knowledge of affairs; mental grasp; also, practical know-how; common sense.
  • verb Slang, U. S. To understand; to comprehend; know.

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

  • adjective informal Shrewd, well-informed and perceptive.
  • verb informal to understand
  • interjection informal Do you understand?

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

  • noun the cognitive condition of someone who understands
  • verb get the meaning of something


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

[From Spanish sabe (usted), (you) know, from saber, to know, from Old Spanish, from Vulgar Latin *sapēre, from Latin sapere, to be wise; see sep- in Indo-European roots.]

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

Alteration of save, sabi ("know") (in English-based creoles and pidgins), from Portuguese or Spanish sabe ("[he] knows"), from saber ("to know"), from Latin sapere ("to be wise").


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  • 'I tried to crack on I hadn't noticed anything, but it kept on and on and I saw it was trying to attract my attention so I couldn't anything but try to savvy what it was on about...'

    - Peter Reading, C, 1984

    July 4, 2008

  • Captain Jack Sparrow.

    June 23, 2009

  • This is one of my most hated words.

    December 4, 2009

  • I found this word in an article called "Three days in Sri Lanka", by Nathan Myers. It is used in the sentence as followed, " For a savvy traveler like Gaskell, Sri Lanka only reiterated what he already knew."

    September 22, 2010