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shrewd / shroōd/ • adj. 1. having or showing sharp powers of judgment; astute: she was shrewd enough to guess the motive behind his gesture a shrewd career move.2. archaic (esp. of weather) piercingly cold: a shrewd east wind. ∎  (of a blow) severe: a bayonet's shrewd thrust. ∎  mischievous; malicious.DERIVATIVES: shrewd·ly adv.shrewd·ness n.ORIGIN: Middle English (in the sense ‘evil in nature or character’): from shrew in the sense ‘evil person or thing,’ or as the past participle of obsolete shrew ‘to curse.’ The word developed the sense ‘cunning,’ and gradually gained a favorable connotation during the 17th cent.