succinct

play
adjective suc·cinct \ (ˌ)sək-ˈsiŋ(k)t , sə-ˈsiŋ(k)t \

Definition of succinct

1 archaic
a :being girded
b :close-fitting
2 :marked by compact precise expression without wasted words
  • a succinct description

succinctly

play \-ˈsiŋ(k)t-lē, -ˈsiŋ-klē\ adverb

succinctness

play \-ˈsiŋt-nəs, -ˈsiŋk-nəs\ noun

succinct was our Word of the Day on 03/09/2007. Hear the podcast!

Examples of succinct in a Sentence

  1. Other experts are in the business of selling their research. Alan Greenspan made his reputation and career as a partner of Townsend-Greenspan, whose clients were a who's who of old Wall Street. Successful research firms can command substantial fees, and buyers demand clear, succinct and unequivocal analysis and predictions. —Zachary KarabellNewsweek9 Mar. 2009
  2. As Esther Benbassa recounts in her dry but impressively succinct and informative history, they arrived in the Roman province of Gaul in the first centuries of the common era, and soon found themselves trod underfoot by the ascendant Christian church. —David A. BellNew Republic28 Feb. 2000
  3. In his first work of popular science, English theoretical physicist Stephen Hawking proves himself to be a master of vivid clarity. His title, " A Brief History of Time," is understated even by British standards; in 198 pages Hawking manages no less than a succinct history of cosmology, a concise explanation of general relativity and its intersection with quantum mechanics … —Richard RhodesChicago Tribune27 Mar. 1988
  4. He gave a succinct overview of the expansion project.

  5. a pocket guide that provides succinct explanations for rules of grammar and punctuation

Recent Examples of succinct from the Web

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

A Succinct History of succinct

The history of "succinct" might not be short, but it's a cinch to remember. "Succinct" traces to the Latin verb succingere ("to gird about"), which comes from "cingere" ("to gird"), the word that gave us "cincture" and "cinch." The earliest uses of succinct meant "confined" or "girded up," and, as such, it was often used in reference to garments encircled by a band. Eventually, "succinct" was extended to the realm of insects, where it meant "supported by a band of silk around the middle" (as in "the succinct pupa of a butterfly"). Later, the word was applied to writings. A "succinct" piece of writing is "compressed" or "compact" and uses as few words as possible.

Origin and Etymology of succinct

Middle English, from Latin succinctus having one's clothes gathered up by a belt, tightly wrapped, concise, from sub- + cinctus, past participle of cingere to gird — more at cincture

Synonym Discussion of succinct

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

SUCCINCT Defined for English Language Learners

succinct

play
adjective

Definition of succinct for English Language Learners

  • : using few words to state or express an idea



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