Synonym Chooser

How does the adjective terse contrast with its synonyms?

Some common synonyms of terse are compendious, concise, laconic, pithy, succinct, and summary. While all these words mean "very brief in statement or expression," terse implies pointed conciseness.

a terse reply

When is compendious a more appropriate choice than terse?

While in some cases nearly identical to terse, compendious applies to what is at once full in scope and brief and concise in treatment.

a compendious dictionary

When could concise be used to replace terse?

The words concise and terse can be used in similar contexts, but concise suggests the removal of all that is superfluous or elaborative.

a concise description

When can laconic be used instead of terse?

In some situations, the words laconic and terse are roughly equivalent. However, laconic implies brevity to the point of seeming rude, indifferent, or mysterious.

an aloof and laconic stranger

How is pithy related to other words for terse?

Pithy adds to succinct or terse the implication of richness of meaning or substance.

a comedy sharpened by pithy one-liners

Where would succinct be a reasonable alternative to terse?

The words succinct and terse are synonyms, but do differ in nuance. Specifically, succinct implies the greatest possible compression.

a succinct letter of resignation

When is it sensible to use summary instead of terse?

The meanings of summary and terse largely overlap; however, summary suggests the statement of main points with no elaboration or explanation.

a summary listing of the year's main events

Thesaurus Entries Near terse

Cite this Entry

“Terse.” Merriam-Webster.com Thesaurus, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/thesaurus/terse. Accessed 2 Dec. 2022.

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