"You canker blossom!" 3 Shakespearean Insults


[shrood] /ʃrud/
adjective, shrewder, shrewdest.
astute or sharp in practical matters:
a shrewd politician.
keen; piercing.
Archaic. malicious.
Obsolete, bad.
Obsolete, shrewish.
Origin of shrewd
1275-1325; Middle English shrewed, in part representing shrew1 + -ed3 (cf. dogged, 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
  • She is also a shrewd consensus builder, adept at winning local support.
  • She had a shrewd head for business and handled their finances skillfully.
  • If given enough leeway, they quickly become shrewd managers of their own finances.
  • The inquisitors were shrewd students of human nature.
  • She believed in his abilities and wanted to protect him-and she possessed a useful talent for shrewd real-estate deals.
  • shrewd enemies, hidden from sight, are fighting in this city of stone.
  • McMillan is a gifted researcher and interviewer, shrewd and patient.
  • There is, first, the shrewd philosophy of popular origin.
  • It is our own fault if this amiable, shrewd and scholarly parson be not our familiar friend.
  • But being shrewd traders, they didn't want to buy the first camel they stumbled on-they thought they could do better.
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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