incisive

adjective in·ci·sive \ in-ˈsī-siv \
Updated on: 19 Nov 2017

Definition of incisive

: impressively direct and decisive (as in manner or presentation)
  • an incisive analysis
  • an incisive unsentimental writer

incisively

adverb

incisiveness

noun

incisive was our Word of the Day on 04/04/2015. Hear the podcast!

Examples of incisive in a Sentence

  1. She's known for her incisive mind and quick wit.

Recent Examples of incisive from the Web

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'incisive.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

Did You Know?

Incisive has meant "impressively direct and decisive" since around 1834 and derives from the Latin verb caedere, meaning "to cut." Its linguistic kin include many cuttings from the fruitful stem caedere, such as scissors, chisel, incise ("to cut into or engrave"), excise ("to remove by cutting"), incisor ("a front tooth typically adapted for cutting"), incision ("cut" or "gash"), precise ("minutely exact"), and concise ("brief"). Incisive also carries a couple of lesser-known literal meanings relating to cutting: "having a cutting edge or piercing point" (as in "incisive fangs"), and, in dentistry, "of, relating to, or situated near the incisors."

First Known Use of incisive

circa 1834


INCISIVE Defined for English Language Learners

incisive

adjective

Definition of incisive for English Language Learners

  • : very clear and direct : able to explain difficult ideas clearly and confidently


Medical Dictionary

incisive

adjective in·ci·sive \ in-ˈsī-siv \

medical Definition of incisive

: incisal; also : of, relating to, or situated near the incisors


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sticky or viscid

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