Is It Savy or Savvy? – Definition & Correct Spelling

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Candace Osmond

Candace Osmond studied Advanced Writing & Editing Essentials at MHC. She’s been an International and USA TODAY Bestselling Author for over a decade. And she’s worked as an Editor for several mid-sized publications. Candace has a keen eye for content editing and a high degree of expertise in Fiction.

Sure, it might be better known as Captain Jack Sparrow’s go-to word, but the term savvy didn’t start with the famous cinematic pirate. To be savvy is to be shrewd and knowledgeable in the realities of life. It’s an interesting word that holds the nuances of practical understanding and sharp judgment. So, let’s get savvy about the word savvy!

What Does Savvy Mean?

Is It Savy or Savvy Definition Correct Spelling

In English, the term savvy is considered an adjective that’s meant to suggest when someone is well-informed or super perceptive and can make good judgments in a certain area. It’s like how a tech-savvy person is adept with technology or an author is grammar-savvy.

Savy vs. Savvy

Savvy vs Savy Ngram
Savvy and savy usage trend.

Sorry to disappoint, but savy with a single V is just a common spelling mistake. The correct spelling you should use is savvy. So remember, it’s double V, not single V!

Is It More Savvy or Savvier?

The comparative form of savvy can be either more savvy or savvier. Both are grammatically correct, so you can choose the one that sounds better in your sentence. Personally, I prefer savvier because it’s neater and more concise.

How to Pronounce Savvy

The word savvy should be pronounced as sah-vee, where sav rhymes with have.

Synonyms for Savvy

If it doesn’t quite fit in the context you’re dealing with, try on any of these other words for size. They pretty much mean the same thing.

  • Shrewd
  • Astute
  • Sharp-witted
  • Knowledgeable
  • Perceptive
  • Clever

The Etymology and Origin of the Word Savvy

Savvy originated from the French word savez, which means to know or do you know. In the late 1700s, it was adopted into English via Pidgin English as a verb meaning know. The adjective use of savvy, meaning shrewd or knowledgeable, actually didn’t begin until the early 20th century.

Savvy in a Sentence

Is It Savy or Savvy Definition Correct Spelling 1

Seeing how a word properly fits within the context of a full sentence can help you better understand how to use it.

  • My mother’s always been a savvy businesswoman who knows how to negotiate a good deal.
  • I’m very savvy about fantasy romance books because I’ve read hundreds and even written twenty of them. 
  • His savvy understanding of technology helped him troubleshoot the problem with his wife’s old computer.
  • I’ve come to the conclusion that in order to invest wisely, you need to be financially savvy.
  • As a savvy traveler for years now, I know how to find the best deals for getting around the world on a dime.
  • The company I work for is seeking a savvy marketing manager who understands the publishing industry well.
  • Are you savvy with fashion? Because I have a huge event to go to, and I have no idea what to wear.


Being savvy is about being in the know, understanding the practicalities, and always making good decisions. And now, you’re certainly savvier about the word savvy. I’m so glad you decided to brush up on this quirky term and expand your vocabulary. Have a look at my other helpful guides for more tips and info!