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When someone has a sense of, or knows how to handle themselves in a rough neighbourhood or ghetto. People can be street smart regardless of their style. It usualy depends on where or how they were raised. It also can mean how well someone can handle themselves in an unfamiliar neighbourhood or city streets.
Christos the greek wasn't a thug but he was raised in a ghetto neighbourhood and was street wise. He had no problem walking through a rough neighbourhood at night.
On the other hand Steve the wigger considered himself a thug but was raised in a fairly rich, high class neighbourhood. He wasn't street wise and when he needed to walk through the projects he was so afraid he almost shit his pants and took a cab home instead.
by phill July 09, 2004
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1. To be wise in the ways of the life in a large metropolitan area.

2. (Derogatory) (To be said of a stupid person) To know what street one lives on.
1. He's lived in Detroit all his life. He's very streetwise.

2. Matt's not completely stupid, at least he's streetwise.
by tradesman March 31, 2003
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Someone who can squabble, knows the slang of the street, and respects the "criminal world"'s laws
I'ma streetwise because of the place where I'm from
by Nesafiz March 06, 2004
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A person who is wise on a street level. Due to this they are usually quite short so they are closer to the streets. Their outfit of choice is based around a oversized parkas that make them look like drug dealers. Additionally, they generally possess strong colloquial accents so as to fit in with urban culture and come from crime families so look out for particularly cool mothers.
person 1: which cat ellis?
person 2: you know, streetwise cat!

person 1: ooooh, i know who you're talking about now
by jo-ann November 24, 2013
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I became street wise while hitchhiking the US after graduating from college in the late '70's. Learned plenty from people I met, and here's my resulting definition:

Street wise people are aware of their surroundings and nearby people, sense and avoid walking in places of high risk, and proceed out of them with a confident stride.
Being street wise, Mike notices risky areas by tip offs such as use of razor wire, cameras, and graffiti. He avoids walking too close to hiding places alongside buildings or other areas when in marginal or dangerous areas.
by tekim February 06, 2017
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