Word of the Day

perspicacious

audio pronunciation
September 05, 2011
adjective
\per-spuh-KAY-shus\
Definition
: of acute mental vision or discernment : keen
Examples
The average time for solving the puzzle was seven minutes, but some of the more perspicacious subjects did it in under three minutes.

"There was always someone who had it worse, whose pain was more fresh. But there was also someone a few months or years further along, who was beginning to thrive. And far from being losers, these were accomplished and bright people, wise and perspicacious." -- From an article by Jane Eaton Hamilton on Salon.com, July 19, 2011
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Did You Know?
"Perspicacious" is similar in meaning to "shrewd" and "astute," but a sharp mind will discern subtle differences among them. All three mean acute in perception and sound in judgment, but "shrewd" stresses practical, hardheaded cleverness, whereas "perspicacious" implies unusual power to see through and comprehend what is puzzling or hidden. (You can see this shade of meaning in the root of "perspicacious" -- the Latin word "perspicere," meaning "to look through" or "to see clearly.") "Astute" suggests both shrewdness and perspicacity, as well as diplomatic skill.

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