Definition of incisive
- an incisive analysis
- an incisive unsentimental writer
Theme music by Joshua Stamper ©2006 New Jerusalem Music/ASCAP
She's known for her incisive mind and quick wit.
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.
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."
What made you want to look up incisive? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).