Definition of incisive in English:

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Pronunciation: /inˈsīsiv/


1(Of a person or mental process) intelligently analytical and clear-thinking: she was an incisive critic
More example sentences
  • He is always incisive and insightful, and understands Wagner's epic character almost as well as anyone.
  • Perhaps he is more incisive on individually produced artefacts like paintings or buildings.
  • He is incisive, can bowl for long periods, and keeps coming at the batsmen; for them the pressure seldom ceases.
penetrating, acute, sharp, sharp-witted, razor-sharp, keen, astute, trenchant, shrewd, piercing, cutting, perceptive, insightful, percipient, perspicacious, discerning, analytical, clever, smart, quick;
concise, succinct, pithy, to the point, brief, crisp, clear, effective
informal punchy, heads-up, on the ball
rare sapient
1.1(Of an account) accurate and sharply focused: the songs offer incisive pictures of American ways
More example sentences
  • The pages brim with incisive descriptions and exquisite pictures of Ecuador, Peru, Bolivia, Argentina, Chile and Patagonia.
  • His incisive account of the institutional experimentation with respect to cutting rights is informative.
  • Might he be the focus of some incisive Hollywood docudrama?



Pronunciation: /inˈsīsivlē/
Example sentences
  • But he does not allow himself to yield either to the past, or its falsifier, nostalgia, the ‘history’ of which mind-set he incisively anatomises.
  • As he coolly, incisively probes away, his questions elicit fascinating personal revelations, generating feelings of anger, guilt, panic and emptiness.
  • That's an important issue and one that strikes to the heart of why we train college students to think logically, research carefully and write incisively.


Pronunciation: /inˈsīsivnis/
Example sentences
  • For the benefit of those who have yet to experience the clarity, incisiveness, intelligence and above all space-filling qualities of his work, here are a few highlights.
  • Your capacity for hard work, intellectual rigour and incisiveness is well-known throughout the profession and is something to which I can personally attest.
  • As longtime readers know, his writing is marked by clarity, incisiveness, and charity, if not always respect, for opposing views.


Late Middle English (in the sense 'cutting, penetrating'): from medieval Latin incisivus, from Latin incidere 'cut into' (see incise).

Words that rhyme with incisive

decisive, derisive, divisive
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