Definition of terse in English:

terse

Line breaks: terse
Pronunciation: /təːs
 
/

adjective (terser, tersest)

Sparing in the use of words; abrupt: a terse statement
More example sentences
  • The terse, 10-word motion will be considered by members in a special hour-long debate this afternoon.
  • The submitted essays range in length from a few terse words to a screenful of close type.
  • The board also issued a terse statement which was a big slap in the face for their second-largest individual shareholder.
Synonyms

Origin

early 17th century: from Latin tersus 'wiped, polished', from the verb tergere. The original sense was 'polished, trim, spruce', (relating to language) 'polished, polite', hence 'concise and to the point' (late 18th century).

Derivatives

tersely

adverb
More example sentences
  • Allen tersely responded at one point that ‘the board's responsibility is to put in place management to run the organisation’.
  • Having tersely summed up two arguments that I disagree with in various ways, I'll get on with my own argument.
  • Mrs Nokes proffered a hand, and the fierce rivals shook tersely before leaving the stage.

terseness

noun
More example sentences
  • Murakami writes with a terseness that might be called minimalist, but the stories achieve a splendidly unminimalist richness, often taking on the potency of fable.
  • The bell boys and concierge are overrun at times with mountains of luggage and shuttle bus responsibilities and so can be forgiven their occasional terseness.
  • This insightful writing is complemented by direction that has a levelheaded terseness to it, that always keeps the film centered, and propels it forward to its inevitable climax.

Definition of terse in:

Get more from Oxford Dictionaries

Subscribe to remove adverts and access premium resources

Word of the day guzzle
Pronunciation: ˈgʌz(ə)l
verb
eat or drink (something) greedily