"Wise" is defined as having, experiencing or showing "knowledge and good judgement", whereas "shrewd" is defined by as "having or showing sharp powers of judgement; astute". Does this mean that "shrewd" is simply a synonym and therefore the two adjectives can be used interchangeably, or does it have a subtle difference, i.e. shrewdness is the application of knowledge to a greater extent [than wisdom]? How would this affect their application in everyday language? Thanks!
Both shrewd and wise have the meaning that a person has knowledge and sound judgement which allows him to make good decisions, resulting in positive outcomes.
But shrewd is more commonly used in conjunction with a specific field of knowledge. Someone is more likely to be called a “shrewd lawyer” or “shrewd negotiator” rather than just a “shrewd person.”
Shrewd does have some negative connotations, but this stems from its older meanings of sharpness, hardness, or forcefulness, or from its earlier meaning of being malicious (shrewish), but which over time came to mean cunning or clever.
Wise suggests more a generally useful knowledge and good judgement that’s not specific to a particular area, but applies more to life in general.
Someone who is a good mentor or teacher is more likely to be called wise than shrewd.