acumen (plural acumens)
- Quickness of perception or discernment; penetration of mind; the faculty of nice discrimination.
1898, Winston Churchill, chapter 2, in The Celebrity:
- Sunning himself on the board steps, I saw for the first time Mr. Farquhar Fenelon Cooke. […] A silver snaffle on a heavy leather watch guard which connected the pockets of his corduroy waistcoat, together with a huge gold stirrup in his Ascot tie, sufficiently proclaimed his tastes. […] But withal there was a perceptible acumen about the man which was puzzling in the extreme.
- Sir Arthur Conan Doyle in The Adventure of the Missing Three-Quarter
- No, no, my dear Watson! With all respect for your natural acumen, I do not think that you are quite a match for the worthy doctor.
- 1991, Silence Of The Lambs
- Hannibal Lecter: Why do you think he removes their skins, Agent Starling? Enthrall me with your acumen.
- (botany) A sharp, tapering point extending from a plant.
1956, S.M. Bukasov, Translation of THEORETICAL BASES OF PLAN BREEDING, page 6:
- 11. S. boyacense. Resembles S. Rybinii from which it is distinguished by the greater dissection of the leaves, the longer calyx acumens, smaller anthers and coloured corolla.
1978, chapter 2, in The Potato Crop: The scientific basis for improvement, ISBN 978-0-412-12830-1, page 30:
- Herbs with long creeping stolons; leaves with coarse white hairs, or glabrous. The arched corolla lobes and large acumens give the corolla a circular appearance with acumens standing out sharply from it. Corolla occasionally, however, substellate.
1990, Cryptogamic Botany, Volume 2, page 315:
- In our opinion, specimens of I. pilifera represent a robust expression of I. sinensis with many stem and branch leaves becoming strongly concave and broadly ovate to obovate in outline, thereby intensifying the abrupt contraction of the pilaferous acumens. It is best accepted as a variety of N. comes. The length of leaf acumens is another variable character expressed by Barbella amoena. Thus, it is also better combined with the var. pilifera as a synonym.
- (anatomy) A bony, often sharp, protuberance, especially that of the ischium.
c. 1918, University of California, Pamphlets on Biology: Kofoid collection, Volume 1586, page 692:
- The rostrum is the anterior extension of the carapace between the eyes. It ends in a more or less acute tip, or acumen, and may have a lateral spine on each side or bear a longitudinal keel (carina) on the dorsal surface.
1981, Horton Holcombe Hobbs, The Crayfishes of Georgia: Issue 318 of Smithsonian contributions to zoology, Smithsonian Institution, page 486:
- DIAGNOSIS—Rostrum usually with marginal spines, tubercles, or angles at base of acumen, and rarely with low medina carina.
1993, Biological Society of Washington, Smithsonian Institution, Proceedings of the Biological Society of Washington, Volume 106, page 351:
- Variations.—Most specimens examined have concave rostral margins that taper to the acumen and the rostral length is greater than the rostral width.
- (quickness of perception) sharpness, penetration, keenness, shrewdness, acuteness, acuity, wit, foxiness, intelligence, canniness
quickness of perception
sharp, tapering point
Third declension neuter.