Definition of acumen in English:


Pronunciation /ˈakjʊmən//əˈkjuːmən/


  • [mass noun] The ability to make good judgements and take quick decisions:

    ‘she hides a shrewd business acumen’
    • ‘From as far back as he could remember, he'd had his own sense of business acumen.’
    • ‘Of course, all this business acumen didn't come from heading out on the highway looking for adventure.’
    • ‘His business acumen has seen the centre firmly established as a benchmark for the industry.’
    • ‘This elegant chief executive has the business acumen of the Americans and the undeniable style of the Italians in her origins.’
    • ‘It is not so much his tactical acumen as his ability to inspire that distinguishes Graeme Souness as a coach.’
    • ‘Greed, under the guise of business acumen and entrepreneurship, has become the new religion.’
    • ‘Your business acumen and professional creativity are tested in difficult assignments.’
    • ‘But generally I prefer policies that demonstrate a scintilla of common sense and financial acumen.’
    • ‘He went to law school and struck it rich through the exercise of great acumen in the oil business.’
    • ‘He said pilots would be chosen for their tactical acumen, ability to learn quickly and common sense.’
    • ‘He was born and brought up in Gorse Hill, and first showed his business acumen at the age of 13 when he began farming pigs in his back garden.’
    • ‘Joining the company as a trainee, his business acumen saw him quickly rise up the ranks to become general manager in 1955.’
    • ‘They seem genuinely surprised when the venture capitalists quite reasonably question their lack of business acumen.’
    • ‘Anyone finding it impossible to profit where there is no competition simply demonstrates a lack of business acumen.’
    • ‘His friends say what he lacks in political savvy he makes up in business acumen.’
    • ‘His business acumen saw him build and purchase hotels in Galway and Dublin.’
    • ‘As the population shrinks, there are more opportunities for older people to prove their business acumen.’
    • ‘Councils need to be run by managers with initiative and a high level of business acumen.’
    • ‘At the same time, many of the vice-presidents offer specialised skills, knowledge and business acumen.’
    • ‘With his footballing background and business acumen, he seemed the ideal choice for this highly prestigious position.’
    astuteness, awareness, shrewdness, acuity, sharpness, sharp-wittedness, cleverness, brightness, smartness
    judgement, understanding, sense, common sense, canniness, discernment, wisdom, wit, sagacity, perspicacity, ingenuity, insight, intuition, intuitiveness, perception, perspicuity, penetration
    capability, enterprise, initiative, resourcefulness, flair, vision
    brains, powers of reasoning
    savoir faire
    nous, savvy, know-how, horse sense, gumption, grey matter
    sapience, arguteness
    View synonyms


Late 16th century: from Latin, sharpness, point, from acuere sharpen (see acute).