- the quality of having a ready insight into things; shrewdness:
“the perspicacity of her remarks”
Perspicacious is similar in meaning to shrewd and astute, but a sharp mind will discern subtle differences among them. All three mean acute in perception and sound in judgment, but shrewd stresses practical, hardheaded cleverness, whereas perspicacious implies unusual power to see through and comprehend what is puzzling or hidden. (You can see this shade of meaning in the root of perspicacious – the Latin word perspicere, meaning “to look through” or “to see clearly.”) Astute suggests both shrewdness and perspicacity, as well as diplomatic skill.
Latin perspicac-, perspicax, from perspicere
First Known Use: 1640