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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 shrewdest
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • This excited the suspicion of some of the shrewdest holders of the stock, and the affair was investigated.

  • But by far the shrewdest blow to the Italianists was Wilson's Declaration.

  • Peter 133 knew the man to be one of the hardest-headed, shrewdest men in the iron trade, and he guessed the boy was his son.

  • He spoke of business like the shrewdest and readiest of practical men.

    Frenzied Finance Thomas W. Lawson
  • Both had come through their schedules unbeaten, and the shrewdest followers of the game were hard put to it to pick a winner.

  • The fox is the synonym of cunning, and will often outwit the shrewdest trapper.

    The Hunters of the Ozark Edward S. Ellis
  • Is it not extraordinary that historians should have mistaken the Queen's shrewdest craft for hesitancy?

British Dictionary definitions for shrewdest


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 shrewdest



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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