1. Inclining to shrew; disposing to curse or scold; hence, vicious; malicious; evil; wicked; mischievous; vexatious; rough; unfair; shrewish. [Egypt] hath many shrewd havens, because of the great rocks that ben strong and dangerous to pass by. (Sir J. Mandeville) Every of this happy number That have endured shrewd days and nights with us. (Shak)
3. Able or clever in practical affairs; sharp in business; astute; sharp-witted; sagacious; keen; as, a shrewd observer; a shrewd design; a shrewd reply. Professing to despise the ill opinion of mankind creates a shrewd suspicion that we have deserved it. (Secker)
Shrewd, Sagacious. One who is shrewd is keen to detect errors, to penetrate disguises, to foresee and guard against the selfishness of others. Shrewd is a word of less dignity than sagacious, which implies a comprehensive as well as penetrating mind, whereas shrewd does not. Shrewdly, Shrewdness.
Origin: Originally the p. P. Of shrew, v.t.