Terse Terse, a. [Compar. {Terser}; superl. {Tersest}.] [L. tersus, p. p. of tergere to rub or wipe off.] 1. Appearing as if rubbed or wiped off; rubbed; smooth; polished. [Obs.] [1913 Webster]

Many stones, . . . although terse and smooth, have not this power attractive. --Sir T. Browne. [1913 Webster]

2. Refined; accomplished; -- said of persons. [R. & Obs.] ``Your polite and terse gallants.'' --Massinger. [1913 Webster]

3. Elegantly concise; free of superfluous words; polished to smoothness; as, terse language; a terse style. [1913 Webster]

Terse, luminous, and dignified eloquence. --Macaulay. [1913 Webster]

A poet, too, was there, whose verse Was tender, musical, and terse. --Longfellow. [1913 Webster]

Syn: Neat; concise; compact.

Usage: {Terse}, {Concise}. Terse was defined by Johnson ``cleanly written'', i. e., free from blemishes, neat or smooth. Its present sense is ``free from excrescences,'' and hence, compact, with smoothness, grace, or elegance, as in the following lones of Whitehead: [1913 Webster]

``In eight terse lines has Ph[ae]drus told (So frugal were the bards of old) A tale of goats; and closed with grace, Plan, moral, all, in that short space.'' [1913 Webster] It differs from concise in not implying, perhaps, quite as much condensation, but chiefly in the additional idea of ``grace or elegance.'' [1913 Webster] -- {Terse"ly}, adv. -- {Terse"ness}, n. [1913 Webster]

The Collaborative International Dictionary of English. 2000.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • tersely — adv. Tersely is used with these verbs: ↑say …   Collocations dictionary

  • tersely — terse ► ADJECTIVE (terser, tersest) ▪ sparing in the use of words; abrupt. DERIVATIVES tersely adverb terseness noun. ORIGIN originally in the sense «polished, trim»: from Latin tersus wiped, polished …   English terms dictionary

  • tersely — adverb in a short and concise manner (Freq. 1) a particular bird, exactly and tersely described in the book of birds • Syn: ↑telegraphically • Derived from adjective: ↑terse, ↑telegraphic (for: ↑ …   Useful english dictionary

  • tersely — adverb see terse …   New Collegiate Dictionary

  • tersely — See terse. * * * …   Universalium

  • tersely — adverb In a brief, concise, or to the point manner. Syn: concisely Ant: verbosely …   Wiktionary

  • tersely — adv. concisely, succinctly, curtly …   English contemporary dictionary

  • tersely — terse·ly …   English syllables

  • tersely — See: terse …   English dictionary

  • terse — tersely, adv. terseness, n. /terrs/, adj. terser, tersest. 1. neatly or effectively concise; brief and pithy, as language. 2. abruptly concise; curt; brusque. [1595 1605; < L tersus, ptp. of tergere to rub off, wipe off, clean, polish] Syn. 1.… …   Universalium

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