Simple Definition of terse
: brief and direct in a way that may seem rude or unfriendly
Examples of terse
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
… Johnston stays bolted to the wheelhouse floor, wrestling the helm and jotting down notes in the ship log. His entries are terse, bullet descriptions of the unending chaos outside. —Sebastian Junger, The Perfect Storm, 1997
This vicious cycle was captured succinctly in Gandhi's terse warning that an eye for an eye makes the whole world blind. —David McCabe, Commonweal, 11 Apr. 1997
She accepts the caller's terse expression of sympathy and duly expresses in return her appreciation for that unenviable bit of message-bearing. —John Barth, Harper's, January 1994
She gave me a few terse instructions and promptly left the room.
<could tell from his terse replies to my questions that he was in no mood to talk>
Origin of terse
Latin tersus clean, neat, from past participle of tergēre to wipe off
First Known Use: 1601
Synonym Discussion of terse
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