clear, perspicuous, lucid mean quickly and easily understood. clear implies freedom from obscurity, ambiguity, or undue complexity.
clear instructionsperspicuous applies to a style that is simple and elegant as well as clear.
a perspicuous style lucid suggests a clear logical coherence and evident order of arrangement.
a lucid explanation
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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."
Examples of perspicuous in a Sentence
believing that poetry need not be as perspicuous as prose, he writes poems that are intentionally ambiguous
Recent Examples on the WebConditions in the state the planes left behind them were far less perspicuous.
The Economist, 8 Feb. 2020 The president began his Monday by scrutinizing his national security briefing, filling its margins with perspicuous questions and observations.
Eric Levitz, Daily Intelligencer, 10 July 2017 Unspoken but perspicuous is the wish to (at worst) score points off Democrats and (at best) free up a seat on the nation’s most important appeals court for a nominee from the Federalist Society weapons locker.
Garrett Epps, The Atlantic, 12 May 2017
These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'perspicuous.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.