Word Origin & History
1540s, from M.Fr. sagacité, from L. sagacitatem (nom. sagacitas) "quality of being acute," from sagax (gen. sagacis) "of quick perception," related to sagus "prophetic," sagire "perceive keenly," from PIE base *sag- "to track down, trace, seek" (cf. O.E. secan "to seek;" see
). Also used 17c.-18c. of animals, meaning "acute sense of smell."