ac·u·men (ăkyə-mən, ə-ky-)
Quickness, accuracy, and keenness of judgment or insight: "A brilliant acumen in agricultural matters ... had made the old man a legend in the district" (James Herriot).
[Latin acūmen, from acuere, to sharpen, from acus, needle; see ak- in the Appendix of Indo-European roots.]
Usage Note: The pronunciation (ə-kymən), with stress on the second syllable, is an older, traditional pronunciation reflecting the word's Latin origin. The Anglicized pronunciation with stress on the first syllable, (ăkyə-mən), was accepted as standard by the entire Usage Panel in the 1997 survey and was the preferred pronunciation of two thirds of the Panelists. The older pronunciation was considered unacceptable by 40 percent of the Panel, suggesting that eventually this pronunciation will fall into disuse.
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