con·​cise kən-ˈsīs How to pronounce concise (audio)
: marked by brevity of expression or statement : free from all elaboration and superfluous detail
a concise report
a concise definition
concisely adverb
conciseness noun

Did you know?

Many students think that adding unnecessary sentences with long words will make their writing more impressive. But in fact almost every reader values concision, since concise writing is usually easier to read, better thought out, and better organized—that is, simply better writing. Words such as short don't have the full meaning of concise, which usually means not just "brief" but "packed with information".

Choose the Right Synonym for concise

concise, terse, succinct, laconic, summary, pithy, compendious mean very brief in statement or expression.

concise suggests the removal of all that is superfluous or elaborative.

a concise description

terse implies pointed conciseness.

a terse reply

succinct implies the greatest possible compression.

a succinct letter of resignation

laconic implies brevity to the point of seeming rude, indifferent, or mysterious.

an aloof and laconic stranger

summary suggests the statement of main points with no elaboration or explanation.

a summary listing of the year's main events

pithy adds to succinct or terse the implication of richness of meaning or substance.

a comedy sharpened by pithy one-liners

compendious applies to what is at once full in scope and brief and concise in treatment.

a compendious dictionary

Examples of concise in a Sentence

That is as clean and concise a summation of a profound and complicated truth as I have come across … David Noonan, Newsweek, 10 Nov. 2008
Frye's wit was concise and dry, his erudition compendious. Robert M. Adams, New York Times Book Review, 31 Mar. 1991
"I am glad, Mrs. Butler," was the neighbour's concise answer. Sir Walter Scott, The Heart of Midlothian, 1818
a clear and concise account of the accident a concise article on violence in the media that manages to say more than most books on the subject
Recent Examples on the Web Eternal Sunshine arrived in March as a concise and effective addition to Grande’s discography. Larisha Paul, Rolling Stone, 15 May 2024 The dining room, an exercise in intimate elegance done with green trellis work, offers a concise high-end French menu served with panache. Florence Fabricant, New York Times, 9 Apr. 2024 See all Example Sentences for concise 

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'concise.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History


borrowed from Middle French & Latin; Middle French concis, borrowed from Latin concīsus "(of a speech, expression) broken off, cut short, terse," from past participle of concīdere "to cut up, break up, slaughter, chop to pieces," from con- con- + caedere "to strike, beat, kill, fell (trees, etc.), cut off or through," of uncertain origin

Note: A laryngealist Indo-European reconstruction for caedere would be *kh2ei̯d-, which has no certain correspondents. Armenian xaytʼem "to sting, bite" has been compared, as well as Old High German heia, glossing Latin aries "battering ram" (Middle High German hei, heie with the same sense, Middle Dutch heie "pile driver"), though the latter would assume that the *d/*dh- is a root extension. Moreover, if heie is the outcome of Germanic *xai̯i̯ō(n), the doubled semivowel (Verschärfung) could be taken to assume a reconstruction *kh2ei̯H- with an added laryngeal complicating the issue. (See R. Lühr, et al., Etymologisches Wörterbuch des Althochdeutschen.)

First Known Use

circa 1590, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of concise was circa 1590

Dictionary Entries Near concise

Cite this Entry

“Concise.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 29 May. 2024.

Kids Definition


con·​cise kən-ˈsīs How to pronounce concise (audio)
: brief and to the point
a concise summary
concisely adverb
conciseness noun

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