adjective (terser; tersest) Etymology: Latin tersus clean, neat, from past participle of tergēre to wipe off Date: 1601 1. smoothly elegant ; polished 2. devoid of superfluity <
a terse summary
; also short, brusque <
dismissed me with a terse “no”
Synonyms: see concisetersely adverbterseness noun

New Collegiate Dictionary. 2001.


Look at other dictionaries:

  • terse — terse …   Dictionnaire des rimes

  • 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 …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • terse — [ tɜrs ] adjective a terse statement or remark is very short and often shows that the person making it is annoyed ╾ terse|ly adverb ╾ terse|ness noun uncount …   Usage of the words and phrases in modern English

  • terse — [tə:s US tə:rs] adj [Date: 1600 1700; : Latin; Origin: tersus clean, neat , from tergere to wipe off ] a terse reply, message etc uses very few words and often shows that you are annoyed ▪ Derek s terse reply ended the conversation. >tersely… …   Dictionary of contemporary English

  • terse — terse; terse·ly; terse·ness; …   English syllables

  • terse — index cohesive (compact), compact (pithy), laconic, pithy, sententious, succinct Burton s Legal Thesauru …   Law dictionary

  • terse — (adj.) 1590s (implied in tersely), clean cut, burnished, neat, from Fr. ters clean, from L. tersus wiped off, clean, neat, from pp. of tergere to rub, polish, wipe. Sense of concise or pithy in style or language is from 1777, which led to a… …   Etymology dictionary

  • terse — *concise, succinct, laconic, summary, pithy, compendious Analogous words: *brief, short: compact, *close: *expressive, sententious, meaningful: *incisive, crisp, clear cut …   New Dictionary of Synonyms

  • terse — [adj] brief, short abrupt, aphoristic, boiled down*, breviloquent, brusque, clear cut, clipped, close, compact, compendiary, compendious, concise, condensed, crisp, cryptic, curt, cut to the bone*, elliptical, epigrammatic, exact, gnomic, in a… …   New thesaurus

  • 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

  • terse — [tʉrs] adj. terser, tersest [L tersus, wiped off, clean, pp. of tergere, to wipe < IE * terg < base * ter , to rub, turn: see THROW] 1. free of superfluous words; concise in a polished, smooth way; succinct 2. brief or concise to the point… …   English World dictionary

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