Try Our Apps


The Best Internet Slang


[in-sahy-siv] /ɪnˈsaɪ sɪv/
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
From the Medieval Latin word incīsīvus, dating back to 1520-30. See incise, -ive
Related forms
incisively, adverb
incisiveness, noun
unincisive, adjective
unincisively, adverb
unincisiveness, noun
1. acid, mordant; sarcastic, sardonic. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2017.
Cite This Source
Examples from the Web for incisiveness
Historical Examples
  • Jeremy was pale, but his manner kept its incisiveness, his speech its lucidity.

    Double Harness Anthony Hope
  • There is lack of incisiveness, sharpness of outline, cohesion of thought.

  • There appears to be an incisiveness about them which appeals to parrot nature.

    Birds of the Plains Douglas Dewar
  • The beauty and incisiveness of the poetic prophecy in xxxvii.

  • "It is certainly a medley," he replied, with some incisiveness.

    Brooke's Daughter Adeline Sergeant
  • Her incisiveness seemed to fail her when with Lawrence Vickery.

    Rodman the Keeper Constance Fenimore Woolson
  • What is the faculty which gives relief, brilliancy, and incisiveness to thought?

    Amiel's Journal Henri-Frdric Amiel
  • Incisive he was not ordinarily; caution of his type harmonises ill with incisiveness.

    Life of Charles Darwin

    G. T. (George Thomas) Bettany
  • Probably this work lost something in incisiveness and brilliancy by being postponed till the writer's old age.

    Washington Irving Charles Dudley Warner
  • Time had chiseled it to an incisiveness not incongruous with a lingering air of youth.

British Dictionary definitions for incisiveness


keen, penetrating, or acute
biting or sarcastic; mordant: an incisive remark
having a sharp cutting edge: incisive teeth
Derived Forms
incisively, adverb
incisiveness, noun
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
Cite This Source
Word Origin and History for incisiveness



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.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
Cite This Source
incisiveness in Medicine

incisive in·ci·sive (ĭn-sī'sĭv)

  1. Having the power to cut.

  2. Relating to the incisor teeth.

The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
Cite This Source

Word of the Day

Difficulty index for incisive

Some English speakers likely know this word

Word Value for incisiveness

Scrabble Words With Friends

Nearby words for incisiveness