Share this entry

Share this page

laconic

Line breaks: la|con¦ic
Pronunciation: /ləˈkɒnɪk
 
/

Definition of laconic in English:

adjective

(Of a person, speech, or style of writing) using very few words: his laconic reply suggested a lack of interest in the topic
More example sentences
  • He spoke in an unfeasibly low voice, with the lyrical and laconic speech so typical of the Jamaicans.
  • The problem is likely to be, at least in part, Hilberg's laconic style.
  • In contrast to the laconic style of most garage MCs, Mills rhymes in a startling, panicked yelp.
Synonyms

Origin

mid 16th century (in the sense 'Laconian'): via Latin from Greek Lakōnikos, from Lakōn 'Laconia, Sparta', the Spartans being known for their terse speech.

Derivatives

laconically

1
adverb
Example sentences
  • ‘You make your first record,’ says Goldenhorse stalwart Geoff Maddock laconically, ‘and no one knows who you are.’
  • ‘Too soon to tell,’ Zhou laconically riposted.
  • ‘Fan letters,’ he says laconically, ripping them open and reading out some choice sentences.

laconicism

2
Pronunciation: /-ɪsɪz(ə)m/
noun
Example sentences
  • His peculiar mix of laconicism and loquaciousness means that when he talks you tend to listen closely.
  • In the former category were the blunt epigrams of Otto Luening's Third Short Sonata, the graceful, playful modesty of Ibert's ‘Jeux’ and the altogether more wintry laconicism of Edison Denisov's Four Pieces for the two instruments.
  • In its starkness and simplicity, Dead Man returns to the crystalline laconicism of Jarmusch's Stranger Than Paradise; and though we may sense that this saga is essentially without hope, we are still wryly bemused and frequently amused.

laconism

3
noun
Example sentences
  • Comparing the book with Shahnama-e-Islam, Maulana Akhlaque Hussain Qasmi said that the author had done a very good job in applying eloquence and laconism to his writing skill.
  • CIA bods clearly tend toward the ‘strong, silent’ type as this sentence is a model of laconism.
  • Terence Morgan's Drake, endowed from the start with an uncanny self-confidence, struck exactly the right balance between poker-faced laconism and Errol Flynn-like exuberance.

Definition of laconic in:

Share this entry

Share this page

 

What do you find interesting about this word or phrase?

Get more from Oxford Dictionaries

Subscribe to remove adverts and access premium resources

Word of the day prepotent
Pronunciation: prɪˈpəʊt(ə)nt
adjective
greater than others in power or influence