Definition of succinct
- a succinct description
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He gave a succinct overview of the expansion project.
a pocket guide that provides succinct explanations for rules of grammar and punctuation
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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.
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