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:

  • terseness — 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

  • terseness — noun see terse …   New Collegiate Dictionary

  • terseness — See tersely. * * * …   Universalium

  • terseness — noun The characteristic of being terse …   Wiktionary

  • terseness — terse·ness || tÉœrsnɪs /tɜːs n. conciseness, succinctness, curtness, abruptness …   English contemporary dictionary

  • terseness — terse·ness …   English syllables

  • terseness — noun a neatly short and concise expressive style • Ant: ↑verboseness • Derivationally related forms: ↑terse • Hypernyms: ↑expressive style, ↑style • Hyponyms: ↑ …   Useful english dictionary

  • POETRY — This article is arranged according to the following outline (for modern poetry, see hebrew literature , Modern; see also prosody ): biblical poetry introduction the search for identifiable indicators of biblical poetry the presence of poetry in… …   Encyclopedia of Judaism

  • Ed (text editor) — ed is the standard text editor on the Unix operating system. ed was originally written by Ken Thompson and contains one of the first implementations of regular expressions. Prior to that implementation, the concept of regular expressions was only …   Wikipedia

  • poetry — ‘All good poetry is the spontaneous overflow of powerful feelings’ (William Wordsworth, 1801). The distinction in modern literature between prose and poetry is difficult to apply to the Bible, but there is a tradition that regards certain OT… …   Dictionary of the Bible

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