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[shrood] /ʃrud/
adjective, shrewder, shrewdest.
astute or sharp in practical matters:
a shrewd politician.
keen; piercing.
artful (def 1).
Archaic. malicious.
Obsolete, bad1 .
Obsolete, shrewish.
Origin of shrewd
1275-1325; Middle English shrewed, in part representing shrew1 + -ed3 (cf. dogged1, wicked); in part probably past participle of shrewen to curse, v. use of shrew1 (see -ed2)
Related forms
shrewdly, adverb
shrewdness, noun
unshrewd, adjective
unshrewdly, adverb
unshrewdness, noun
1. quick, discerning, perceptive, perspicacious, sagacious, keen; discriminating, intelligent. See acute. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the Web for shrewd
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • She was a shrewd child and a generous one when her sympathies were aroused.

    Chicken Little Jane Lily Munsell Ritchie
  • For she was wise and shrewd—of that pure leaven of womankind which leaveneth all the rest.

    Roden's Corner Henry Seton Merriman
  • Now there came into the childish face a look of shrewd and calculating wisdom.

    Jane Journeys On Ruth Comfort Mitchell
  • Every blow was shrewd to hurt; and he delivered a multitude of blows.

    White Fang Jack London
  • And I find that M. Bayle, shrewd as he is, is not always free from this confusion.

    Theodicy G. W. Leibniz
British Dictionary definitions for shrewd


astute and penetrating, often with regard to business
artful and crafty: a shrewd politician
  1. piercing: a shrewd wind
  2. spiteful
Derived Forms
shrewdly, adverb
shrewdness, noun
Word Origin
C14: from shrew (obsolete vb) to curse, from shrew
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for shrewd

c.1300, "wicked, evil," from shrewe "wicked man" (see shrew). Cf. crabbed from crab (n.), dogged from dog (n.), wicked from witch (n.). The sense of "cunning" is first recorded 1510s. Related: Shrewdly; shrewdness. Strutt's "Sports and Pastimes of the People of England" (1801) has a shrewdness of apes for a company or group of them. Shrewdie "cunning person" is from 1916.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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