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[uh-kyoo-muh n, ak-yuh-] /əˈkyu mən, ˈæk yə-/
keen insight; shrewdness:
remarkable acumen in business matters.
Origin of acumen
1525-35; < Latin acūmen sharpness, equivalent to acū- (stem of acuere to sharpen; see acute) + -men noun suffix
Related forms
[uh-kyoo-muh-nuh s] /əˈkyu mə nəs/ (Show IPA),
unacuminous, adjective Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for acumen
  • Turning a life into a livelihood requires more than talent and business acumen.
  • You aren't getting anywhere near that degree without some statistics acumen.
  • Certainly he had a rare combination of charm, intelligence and political acumen.
  • But even though he has the training of a lawyer and the acumen of an accountant, he never forgets that he is playing a game.
  • He has been credited with a businessman's acumen and the tact of a diplomat.
  • He is 22 years old, but his baseball intellect and acumen are surprisingly refined.
  • War has left many people with little education, let alone business acumen.
  • He sickens me with his arrogance and lack of technical acumen.
  • Candace, known for her business acumen, has overcome a number of hurdles in her life.
  • He is a gifted orator, but I'm concerned about the lack of business acumen.
British Dictionary definitions for acumen


/ˈækjʊˌmɛn; əˈkjuːmən/
the ability to judge well; keen discernment; insight
Derived Forms
acuminous, adjective
Word Origin
C16: from Latin: sharpness, from acuere to sharpen, from acus needle
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
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Word Origin and History for acumen

1530s, from Latin acumen "a point, sting," hence "mental sharpness, shrewdness," from acuere "to sharpen" (see acuity).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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