Sharpness, acuteness, and insight, no
matter how keen and penetrating, fall short of the meaning of acumen.
Acumen implies also the ability to use these qualities to advantage.
There are persons of keen insight and great penetration to whom these powers are practically
Acumen is sharpness to some purpose, and belongs to a mind that is comprehensive as well as keen.
Cleverness is a practical aptitude for study or learning.
Insight and discernment are applied oftenest to the judgment of character; penetration and
perspicacity to other subjects of knowledge.
Sagacity is an uncultured skill in using quick perceptions for a desired end, generally in practical
affairs; acumen may increase with study, and applies to the most erudite matters.
Shrewdness is keenness or sagacity, often with a somewhat evil bias, as ready to take
advantage of duller intellects.
Perspicacity is the power to see clearly through that which is difficult or involved.
We speak of the acuteness of an observer or a reasoner, the insight and discernment of a
student, a clergyman, or a merchant, the sagacity of a hound, the keenness of a debater, the
shrewdness of a usurer, the penetration, perspicacity, and acumen of a
Antonyms for Acumen
bluntness, dulness, obtuseness, stupidity.
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