Etymology
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shrewd (adj.)

c. 1300, shreued, "wicked, depraved, malicious, evil," from shrewe "wicked man" (see shrew) + -ed. Compare crabbed from crab (n.), dogged from dog (n.), wicked from witch (n.), all from early Middle English.

The weaker or neutral sense of "cunning, sly, artful, clever or keen-witted in practical affairs," hence "acute, sagacious" is recorded from 1510s. Related: Shrewdly; shrewdness. Strutt's "Sports and Pastimes of the People of England" (1801) and a mid-15th century list of terms of association have a shrewdness of apes for a company or group of them. Shrewdie "cunning person" is by 1916.

updated on September 05, 2022

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Definitions of shrewd from WordNet

shrewd (adj.)
marked by practical hardheaded intelligence;
he was too shrewd to go along with them on a road that could lead only to their overthrow
Synonyms: astute / sharp
shrewd (adj.)
acting with a specific goal;
Synonyms: calculating / calculative / conniving / scheming
Etymologies are not definitions. From wordnet.princeton.edu, not affiliated with etymonline.