incisive

adjective
in·​ci·​sive | \in-ˈsī-siv \

Definition of incisive 

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

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Other Words from incisive

incisively adverb
incisiveness noun

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."

Examples of incisive in a Sentence

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

Recent Examples on the Web

But even an Oscar winner isn't enough to distract rabid Lush fans from asking incisive product questions and fawning over their styling cream. Leah Prinzivalli, Allure, "Lush Employee Goes Viral for Being Leonardo DiCaprio's Doppelgänger," 15 Aug. 2018 As usual for the company, they were designed for professional use, however their indestructible build, reasonable price, and sharp, incisive sound were warmly received by people looking for something more hi-fi than the dominant Beats options. Vlad Savov, The Verge, "Audio-Technica M50xBT review: better beats," 12 Nov. 2018 Amy Cappellazzo has a very incisive observation about contemporary art: There are those who see. Julia Felsenthal, Vogue, "The Price of Everything,," 18 Oct. 2018 Based on exhaustive research and countless interviews, this book circles around Belichick to tell his full story for the first time, and presents an incisive portrait of a mastermind at work. Fox News, "'Belichick: The Making of the Greatest Football Coach of All Time' by Ian O'Connor," 25 Sep. 2018 France's fourth goal was simply divine, a team move of lightning pace that culminated in Olivier Giroud's incisive pass to Mbappe, and his cool finish. SI.com, "Messi vs Ronaldo: The Myth of the One-Man Team & the Overwhelming Importance of Trust," 2 July 2018 The ’16 Pernot was penetrating and incisive, with a deep, rich aroma and flavors of herbs and tart citrus. Eric Asimov, New York Times, "The Aligoté Defense Rests," 28 June 2018 His club teammate would double the Red Devils' lead in the 31st minute with an exquisite shot from outside of the box following a quick counter inclusive of a wonderful run and an incisive pass from Romelu Lukaku. SI.com, "Neymar Dives, Belgium High-Fives & Lukaku Thrives - Twitter Reacts to Incredible World Cup Clash," 6 July 2018 Graham Burk stands out as Lavache, a classic Shakespearean clown, the knowing court jester offering incisive commentary. Theodore P. Mahne, NOLA.com, "Shakespeare Fest's 'All's Well' a rare, but frustrating comedy," 5 June 2018

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.

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First Known Use of incisive

circa 1834, in the meaning defined above

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Dictionary Entries near incisive

incised

incised meander

incision

incisive

incisor

incitation

incite

Statistics for incisive

Last Updated

4 Dec 2018

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Time Traveler for incisive

The first known use of incisive was circa 1834

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More Definitions for incisive

incisive

adjective

English Language Learners Definition of incisive

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

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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Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with incisive

Spanish Central: Translation of incisive

Nglish: Translation of incisive for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of incisive for Arabic Speakers

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