Definition of perspicuous
- a perspicuous argument
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believing that poetry need not be as perspicuous as prose, he writes poems that are intentionally ambiguous
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Perspicuous is based on Latin perspicere, meaning "to see through," so that which is perspicuous is clear and understandable. "Perspicuous" has a close cousin, "perspicacious," which is used of a person with astute insight. Both words come directly from Latin adjectives that mean the same thing they do: "perspicuous" from "perspicuus," and "perspicacious" from "perspicax." Needless to say, it's possible to confuse the two. One easy way to keep out of trouble is to think of "perspicUous" as the "U" word, and remember that it means "Understandable" - in contrast to the "A" word, "perspicAcious," which means "Astute."
First Known Use: 1570See Words from the same year
apparent, bald, bald-faced, barefaced, broad, clear, clear-cut, crystal clear, decided, distinct, evident, lucid, luminous, manifest, nonambiguous, obvious, open-and-shut, palpable, patent, pellucid, plain, straightforward, transparent, unambiguous, unambivalent, unequivocal, unmistakable;
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