adjective \ˈtərs\

: brief and direct in a way that may seem rude or unfriendly


Full Definition of TERSE

:  smoothly elegant :  polished
:  using few words :  devoid of superfluity <a terse summary>; also :  short, brusque <dismissed me with a terse “no”>
terse·ly adverb
terse·ness noun

Examples of TERSE

  1. She gave me a few terse instructions and promptly left the room.
  2. <could tell from his terse replies to my questions that he was in no mood to talk>
  3. Everything about him is tidy, from his terse wit to the flecks of gray hair that fall in precise iterations around the edges of his scalp. —Devin Gordon, Newsweek, 29 July 2002

Origin of TERSE

Latin tersus clean, neat, from past participle of tergēre to wipe off
First Known Use: 1601

Rhymes with TERSE


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