1. Inclining to shrew; disposing to curse or scold; hence, vicious; malicious; evil; wicked; mischievous; vexatious; rough; unfair; shrewish. [Obs.] Chaucer.
"[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.
2. Artful; wily; cunning; arch.
"These women are shrewd tempters with their tongues." -- 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.
Syn. -- Keen; critical; subtle; artful; astute; sagacious; discerning; acute; penetrating. -- 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.
-- Shrewd"ly, adv. -- Shrewd"ness, n.