If, for example, one girl exploits her appearance to cheat around some males and I want to say that she is "smart" in a "bad" way can I say she is shrewd?

Which one of this words fits more this kind of "smart" people?

What's the difference between that words? (my dictionary see them as synonyms)

  • If she is cheating and cheating others like you said, I'd say that she is a cheater, in both senses. – Damkerng T. Apr 13 '14 at 17:34
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    Also: manipulative – Helix Quar Apr 14 '14 at 2:11

"Shrewd" is not necessarily negative - to call a businessman shrewd is generally a compliment, meaning "taking advantage of hidden opportunities". "Cunning" is more negative, meaning "good at deceiving people" (though in the past it used to be equivalent to "cute"!). "Sly" is about the same as "cunning". You might also consider "scheming" if she has specific intentions, and "devious" if she hides her true intentions.

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