- penetrating; cutting; biting; trenchant: an incisive tone of voice.
- remarkably clear and direct; sharp; keen; acute: an incisive method of summarizing the issue.
- adapted for cutting or piercing.
- of or relating to the incisors: the incisive teeth.
Origin of incisive
SynonymsSee more synonyms on Thesaurus.com
Examples from the Web for incisive
His correspondence, much of which survives, is that of an incisive and articulate observer.Stonewall Jackson, VMI’s Most Embattled Professor
S. C. Gwynne
November 29, 2014
John Jenkins describes Miller as an “incisive witness both to scientific acumen and religious belief.”Meet the Prizewinning Catholic Biologist Creationists Can’t Stand
Karl W. Giberson
April 6, 2014
But unlike Bloom and Eagleton, his books have been, while erudite and incisive, unashamedly populist.John Sutherland‘s Enjoyable Little History of Literature
November 29, 2013
It took time, but Hemingway eventually met his match in the incisive Kenneth Lynn.Norman Mailer: A Life Lived Loud
October 20, 2013
The ideas in these comics are more subtle and incisive than simply depicting the imprisonment of the capitalist metropolis.Smoked Fish Surrealism: Ben Katchor’s Comics of NYC Neurotics
March 16, 2013
But incisive native writing about American traits is not lacking.The American Mind
"Yes, it is Florent," she said presently, in incisive tones.The Fat and the Thin
Each quiet, incisive word that Chet spoke was clearly heard.The Finding of Haldgren
Charles Willard Diffin
How disagreeable he must have made himself, to render her so sharp and so incisive all at once.Luttrell Of Arran
Charles James Lever
"It was sold for money, I suppose," he said with studied and incisive calmness.An Outcast of the Islands
- keen, penetrating, or acute
- biting or sarcastic; mordantan incisive remark
- having a sharp cutting edgeincisive teeth
Word Origin and History for incisive
early 15c., inscisif, "slashing, cutting with a sharp edge," from Middle French incisif and directly from Medieval Latin incisivus, from Latin incis-, past participle stem of incidere (see incision). Originally literal; figurative sense of "mentally acute" first recorded 1850 as a borrowing from French. Related: Incisively; incisiveness.
- Having the power to cut.
- Relating to the incisor teeth.