The Meaning of Astute: What It Is and How To Use It

Do you know the definition of astute? This article will provide you with all of the information you need on the word astute, including its definition, etymology, usage, example sentences, and more!

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What does the word astute mean?

According to Collins English Dictionary and the American Heritage Unabridged Dictionary of the English Language, the word astute is an adjective that means having acumen or insight, perceptive or shaving cunning, cleverness, or shrewdness. The suffixes ly and ness can be added to the end of astutely to form the related words astutely (adv.) and astuteness (n.) The word astute is two syllables – as-tute, and the pronunciation of astute is əˈstjuːt.

Many things can be astute, such as an astute businessman, astute observer of the current political scene with practical hardheaded intelligence, an astute person who notices small print on a lease or ad, the astute manipulation of facts, an astute tenant, smart businessman, astute politician, astute commentators, astute investors, an astute censor, astute minds in New York, an astute sense of time, astute types of virtual workaholic, and astute genius about the stock market, and astute lead ship, and astute attack submarine in an Australian military operation of an amphion-class submarine or astute-class submarine called the HMS astute, astute city sophistication, and more.

There are many different words that also mean astute in other languages. You may notice that many of these words look and sound similar. These are called cognates, which are usually formed when two words have the same language of origin or root, such as Latin or Greek. This list of translations of astute is provided by Word Sense

  •  Mandarin: 精明‎ (jīngmíng)
  •  Russian: проница́тельный‎, хи́трый‎, сообрази́тельный‎
  •  Icelandic: slyngur‎, kænn‎, séður‎
  •  Hungarian: ravasz‎
  •  Arabic: (indefinite) دَاهٍ‎, (definite) الدَّاهِي‎
  •  Finnish: terävä‎, neuvokas‎
  •  Maori: mūrere‎, pūmahara‎, kokoi‎
  •  Swedish: skarpsinnig‎, knipslug‎, listig‎, slug‎
  •  Spanish: astuto‎, sagaz‎, perspicaz‎
  •  Dutch: scherpzinnig‎
  •  Portuguese: astuto‎
  •  Italian: avveduto‎ (masc.), avveduta‎ (fem.)
  •  Danish: dreven‎, kvik‎, skarpsindig‎
  •  Basque: azeri‎
  •  Bulgarian: хитър‎, проницателен‎
  •  Catalan: astut‎
  •  German: gerissen‎, listig‎, scharfsinnig‎
  •  Turkish: basiretli‎, keskin zekalı‎
  •  Japanese: 抜け目のない‎ (ぬけめのない, nukemenonai)
  •  Bokmål: dreven‎, kvikk‎, skarpsindig‎, listig‎, slu‎
  •  French: astucieux‎, avisé‎, sagace‎
  •  Tagalog: tuso‎

What is the word origin of the word astute?

According to Etymonline, the word astute comes from the Latin astus and Latin astūtus, from astū and perth in Proto-Indo-European roots, of uncertain origin but perhaps related to the Greek asty.

What are synonyms and antonyms of astute?

There are many different words and phrases that one can use in place of the term astute. These are called synonyms, which are words and phrases that have the same meaning as another word or phrase. Synonyms are very useful to know if you want to avoid repeating yourself as well as if you are looking to expand your vocabulary. The below list of synonyms for the word astute is provided by Power Thesaurus.

  •  perceptive
  •  intellectual
  •  dexterous
  •  cunning
  •  sound
  •  heads-up
  •  crafty
  •  politic
  •  brilliant
  •  artful
  •  cagey
  •  discriminating
  •  sensible
  •  sage
  •  wily
  •  sagacious
  •  slick
  •  nimble
  •  ingenious
  •  quick
  •  canny
  •  savvy
  •  perspicacious
  •  bright
  •  capable
  •  sharp
  •  fast learner
  •  resourceful
  •  prudent
  •  percipient
  •  adroitness
  •  sophisticated
  •  knowing
  •  logical
  •  scheming
  •  skillful
  •  deceitful
  •  subtle
  •  quick on the uptake
  •  sly
  •  quick-witted
  •  intuitive
  •  sapient
  •  wise
  •  gifted
  •  smartest
  •  observant
  •  brainy
  •  piercing
  •  long-headed
  •  quick off the mark
  •  sharper
  •  aware
  •  able
  •  alert
  •  discerning
  •  designing
  •  penetrating
  •  sensitive
  •  insidious
  •  adroit
  •  inventive
  •  as sharp as a tack
  •  clever
  •  calculating
  •  ready
  •  trenchant
  •  foxy
  •  sane
  •  deep
  •  penetrative
  •  agile
  •  acute
  •  erudite
  •  smart
  •  learned
  •  feline
  •  far-sighted
  •  profound
  •  rational
  •  on the ball
  •  knowledgeable
  •  incisive
  •  nimble-witted
  •  wisest
  •  sharp-witted
  •  shrewd
  •  enlightened
  •  clear-sighted
  •  cleverest
  •  tricky
  •  intelligent
  •  devious
  •  talented
  •  streetwise
  •  keen
  •  insightful
  •  thoughtful
  •  diplomatic
  •  judicious
  •  guileful

There are also many different words and phrases that a person can use that are the opposite of the word astute, which are called antonyms. Opposite words are also very useful to know if you are looking to expand your English language and grammar knowledge, or if you are looking to grow your vocabulary. This list of antonyms for the word astute is also provided by Power Thesaurus.

  •  dopey
  •  dull
  •  brainless
  •  weak-minded
  •  shallow
  •  not playing with a full deck
  •  naive
  •  birdbrained
  •  absent minded
  •  thoughtless
  •  crazy
  •  ignorant
  •  fatuous
  •  silly
  •  thick
  •  dumb
  •  jejune
  •  thickheaded
  •  daft as a brush
  •  imbecile
  •  absent-minded
  •  slow
  •  witless
  •  fat-headed
  •  ass-headed
  •  slow on the uptake
  •  unwise
  •  absentminded
  •  empty-headed
  •  feather-brained
  •  thick as pig shit
  •  insane
  •  half-witted
  •  dim-witted
  •  rabid
  •  foolish
  •  mindless
  •  obtuse
  •  gullible
  •  abstracted
  •  stewpid
  •  stupid
  •  simple
  •  ponky
  •  thick as pigshit
  •  idiotic
  •  gormless
  •  half-assed
  •  unintelligent
  •  nonsensical

How can the word astute be used in a sentence?

Using words in a sentence is a great way to memorize their definitions. You can also try to make flashcards or quizzes to test your knowledge of different definitions. Try using this word of the day in a sentence today! Below are some different examples of the word astute to help get you started. 

Morgan was not astute and went down the wrong alleys, putting his finger in the proverbial puddings. Although he went to  Princeton University, his own concerns lied more in academics than common sense. 

The woman was astute as to the scale of the riots and left before it escalated into a duel. Her mental penetration skills were high.

The president’s wife was astute when it came to White House policy decisions and affected them on the surface of an everyday conversation. She could overthrow the presidency at any moment. 

She was astute at her craft. She gained many clients in July by paying attention to the barley and gumshoes stocks and avoiding the East Timor crisis.

Overall, the word astute means mentally keen or observant. Assume is an adjective. 


  1. Astute synonyms – 1 088 Words and Phrases for Astute | Power Thesaurus 
  2. Astute antonyms – 506 Opposites of Astute | Power Thesaurus 
  3. Astute definition and meaning | Collins English Dictionary 
  4. astute: meaning, origin, translation | Word Sense 
  5. astute | Origin and meaning of astute | Online Etymology Dictionary