If you are shrewd in your spending, you can make a small salary go a long way. Use the adjective shrewd to describe a person or thing that is smart or clever in a practical sort of way.

The word shrewd is from a Middle English adjective formed from the noun schrewe "an evil person, a villain." This Middle English noun is an earlier form of our modern English word shrew. So shrewd and shrew are related to each other. Shrewd doesn't usually have a disapproving or negative tone, but shrew certainly does.

Definitions of 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”
astute, sharp
showing mental alertness and calculation and resourcefulness

adj used of persons

calculating, calculative, conniving, scheming

Sign up, it's free!

Whether you're a student, an educator, or a lifelong learner, can put you on the path to systematic vocabulary improvement.