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From French sagacité, from Latin sagācitās (sagaciousness), from sagāx (of quick perception, acute, sagacious), from sāgiō (I perceive by the senses).


  • IPA(key): /səˈɡæsəti/, /səˈɡæsɪti/


sagacity (usually uncountable, plural sagacities)

  1. (obsolete) Keen sense of smell.
    • 1607, Edward Topsell, The History of Four-footed Beasts, Serpents, and Insects, London: G. Sawbridge et al., 1658, p. 352,[1]
      [] this Beast [the Ichneumon] is not only enemy to the Crocodile and Asp, but also to their Egs, which she hunteth out by the sagacity of her nose, and so destroyeth them []
  2. The quality of being sage, wise, or able to make good decisions; the quality of being perceptive, astute or insightful.
    • 1813, Jane Austen, Pride and Prejudice, Volume 3, Chapter 15,[2]
      Young ladies have great penetration in such matters as these; but I think I may defy even your sagacity, to discover the name of your admirer.
    • 1904, M. P. Shiel, The Evil That Men Do, London: Ward, Lock & Co., Chapter ,[3]
      Immediately after the meal, when he was alone again, he set to work to examine Drayton’s papers, of which there lay quite a mass on the table near him and, leaning toward the lamp on his elbow, he weighed the meaning of each with a certain sideward sagacity of gaze, a sagacity that smiled in its self-sureness.
      Swiss Family Robinson- "....near the mouth of a creek, towards which all our geese and ducks betook themselves; and I, relying on their sagacity, followed in the same course."


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