laconic

play
adjective la·con·ic \ lə-ˈkä-nik \

Definition of laconic

:using or involving the use of a minimum of words :concise to the point of seeming rude or mysterious

laconically

play \lə-ˈkä-ni-k(ə-)lē\ adverb

laconic was our Word of the Day on 03/02/2017. Hear the podcast!

Examples of laconic in a Sentence

  1. We would rather have a smiling, shape-shifting Democrat we don't trust than a frowning, laconic Republican we trust more. —Maureen DowdNew York Times10 Oct. 1996
  2. The closest anyone comes to announcing his destination is a laconic "Guess I'll head on in." —Richard RhodesThe Inland Ground1991
  3. … towards the father—laconic, authoritarian, remote, an immigrant who'd trained in Galicia to be a rabbi but worked in America in a hat factory—their feelings were more confused. —Philip RothGranta 24Summer 1988
  4. He had a reputation for being laconic.

  5. the sportscaster's color commentary tends to be laconic but very much to the point

Recent Examples of laconic from the Web

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

Did You Know?

Laconia was an ancient country in southern Greece, bordering on the Aegean and the Mediterranean seas. Its capital city was Sparta, and the Spartans were famous for their terseness of speech. "Laconic" comes to us by way of Latin from Greek Lakonikos, which is derived from Lakon, meaning "native of Laconia." It has been with us since the 16th century and has sometimes been used with the basic meaning "of or relating to Laconia or its inhabitants" (though we’re more apt to use "Laconian" for this meaning today). In current use, laconic means "terse" or "concise," and thus recalls the Spartan tendency to use the fewest words possible.

Origin and Etymology of laconic

Latin laconicus Spartan, from Greek lakōnikos; from the Spartan reputation for terseness of speech

Synonym Discussion of laconic

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

LACONIC Defined for English Language Learners

laconic

play
adjective

Definition of laconic for English Language Learners

  • : using few words in speech or writing



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