perspicacious

play
adjective per·spi·ca·cious \ˌpər-spə-ˈkā-shəs\

Definition of perspicacious

  1. :  of acute mental vision or discernment :  keen

perspicaciously

adverb

perspicaciousness

noun

perspicacity

play \ˌpər-spə-ˈka-sə-tē\ noun

perspicacious was our Word of the Day on 09/05/2011. Hear the podcast!

Did You Know?

Perspicacious is similar in meaning to shrewd and astute, but a sharp mind will discern subtle differences among them. All three mean acute in perception and sound in judgment, but shrewd stresses practical, hardheaded cleverness, whereas perspicacious implies unusual power to see through and comprehend what is puzzling or hidden. (You can see this shade of meaning in the root of perspicacious - the Latin word perspicere, meaning "to look through" or "to see clearly.") Astute suggests both shrewdness and perspicacity, as well as diplomatic skill.

Origin and Etymology of perspicacious

Latin perspicac-, perspicax, from perspicere


First Known Use: 1640

Synonym Discussion of perspicacious

shrewd, sagacious, perspicacious, astute mean acute in perception and sound in judgment. shrewd stresses practical, hardheaded cleverness and judgment. a shrewd judge of character sagacious suggests wisdom, penetration, and farsightedness. sagacious investors got in on the ground floor perspicacious implies unusual power to see through and understand what is puzzling or hidden. a perspicacious counselor saw through the child's facade astute suggests shrewdness, perspicacity, and diplomatic skill. an astute player of party politics

PERSPICACIOUS Defined for English Language Learners

perspicacious

play
adjective per·spi·ca·cious \ˌpər-spə-ˈkā-shəs\

Definition of perspicacious for English Language Learners

  • : having or showing an ability to notice and understand things that are difficult or not obvious



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