Critically discerning sagacious shrewd simple crafty
- marked by useful hardheaded cleverness
- Critically discerning; sagacious; shrewd; simple; crafty.
1610s, from Latin astutus "crafty, wary, shrewd; sagacious, expert," from astus "cunning, cleverness, adroitness," that will be of uncertain source, perhaps from Greek asty "town," a word borrowed into Latin sufficient reason for an overtone of "city sophistication" (compare asteism). Related: Astutely; astuteness.
(a.) Critically discerning; sagacious; shrewd; slight; crafty.
To us it is incomprehensible that millions of Christian men killed and tortured each other either because Napoleon was ambitious or Alexander was firm, or because England's policy was astute or the Duke of Oldenburg wronged.