What does shrewd mean?

Definitions for shrewd

This dictionary definitions page includes all the possible meanings, example usage and translations of the word shrewd.

Princeton's WordNet

  1. astute, sharp, shrewdadjective

    marked by practical hardheaded intelligence

    "a smart businessman"; "an astute tenant always reads the small print in a lease"; "he was too shrewd to go along with them on a road that could lead only to their overthrow"

  2. calculating, calculative, conniving, scheming, shrewdadjective

    used of persons

    "the most calculating and selfish men in the community"


  1. shrewdadjective

    showing clever resourcefulness in practical matters

  2. shrewdadjective

    artful, tricky or cunning

  3. shrewdadjective


  4. shrewdadjective


  5. Etymology: From shrewe. See shrew

Samuel Johnson's Dictionary

  1. Shrewdadjective

    Etymology: Contracted from shrewed.

    Her eldest sister is so curst and shrewd,
    That ’till the father rids his hands of her,
    Your love must live a maid. William Shakespeare.

    It was a shrewd saying of the old monk, that two kind of prisons would serve for all offenders, an inquisition and a bedlam: if any man should deny the being of a God, and the immortality of the soul, such a one should be put into the first, as being a desperate heretick; but if any man should profess to believe these things, and yet allow himself in any known wickedness, such a one should be put into bedlam. John Tillotson.

    A spiteful saying gratifies so many little passions, that it meets with a good reception; and the man who utters it is looked upon as a shrewd satirist. Addison.

    Corruption proceeds from employing those who have the character of shrewd worldly men, instead of such as have had a liberal education, and trained up in virtue. Addison.

    Scarce any man passes to a liking of sin in others, but by first practising it himself; and consequently we may take it for a shrewd indication, and sign, whereby to judge of those who have sinned with too much caution, to suffer the world to charge sins directly upon their conversation. Robert South, Serm.

    Every of this number,
    That have endur’d shrewd nights and days with us,
    Shall share the good of our returned fortune. William Shakespeare.

    When a man thinks he has a servant, he finds a traitor that eats his bread, and is readier to do him a mischief, and a shrewd turn, than an open adversary. Robert South, Sermons.

    No enemy is so despicable but he may do a body a shrewd turn. Roger L'Estrange.

Webster Dictionary

  1. Shrewd

    inclining to shrew; disposing to curse or scold; hence, vicious; malicious; evil; wicked; mischievous; vexatious; rough; unfair; shrewish

  2. Shrewd

    artful; wily; cunning; arch

  3. Shrewd

    able or clever in practical affairs; sharp in business; astute; sharp-witted; sagacious; keen; as, a shrewd observer; a shrewd design; a shrewd reply

How to pronounce shrewd?

How to say shrewd in sign language?


  1. Chaldean Numerology

    The numerical value of shrewd in Chaldean Numerology is: 7

  2. Pythagorean Numerology

    The numerical value of shrewd in Pythagorean Numerology is: 5

Examples of shrewd in a Sentence

  1. Michael Spicer:

    He had a shrewd understanding of men and power and knew how to get what he wanted from a situation.

  2. Charles Cooley:

    A talent somewhat above mediocrity, shrewd and not too sensitive, is more likely to rise in the world than genius.

  3. Michael Spicer:

    Cyril was a force to be reckoned with, he had a shrewd understanding of men and power and knew how to get what he wanted from a situation.

  4. Norman Vincent Peale:

    Never say anything to hurt anyone. Moreover . . . refrain from double talk, from shrewd and canny remarks that are designed to advance our interests at someone's disadvantage. We are to turn our back upon evil, and in every way possible, do good, help people and bring blessings into their lives.

  5. Phillip Carter:

    There's a limit to what even a shrewd negotiator or professional like Lisa can do, some of these things will have to be resolved by the president and members of Congress directly.

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Translations for shrewd

From our Multilingual Translation Dictionary

  • ناصح, داهية, حاذق, نبيهArabic
  • klog, snu, fiffig, listigDanish
  • clever, gewitzt, raffiniert, pfiffig, listig, klug, gewieft, schlau, gerissenGerman
  • πανούργοςGreek
  • perspicazSpanish
  • kätevä, näpparä, nokkelaFinnish
  • habile, perspicace, roublard, avisé, astucieux, malin, sagace, futéFrench
  • glicIrish
  • seòlta, glicScottish Gaelic
  • lihaiIndonesian
  • perspicace, scaltro, sveglioItalian
  • מְמוּלָחHebrew
  • 賢明, 抜け目, 狡猾, 賢いJapanese
  • schranderDutch
  • perspicaz, sagazPortuguese
  • умелый, проницательный, практичный, знать, расчётливый, хитрый, находчивыйRussian
  • klok, fiffig, finurlig, listig, slugSwedish
  • తెలివిగలTelugu

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"shrewd." Definitions.net. STANDS4 LLC, 2023. Web. 26 Mar. 2023. <https://www.definitions.net/definition/shrewd>.

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