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[luh-kon-ik] /ləˈkɒn ɪk/
using few words; expressing much in few words; concise:
a laconic reply.
Origin of laconic
1580-90; < Latin Lacōnicus < Greek Lakōnikós Laconian, equivalent to Lákōn a Laconian + -ikos -ic
Related forms
laconically, adverb
unlaconic, adjective
brief, pithy, terse; succinct.
voluble. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2017.
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Examples from the Web for laconic
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • Ramsey was laconic in response to inquiries upon this subject.

    Ramsey Milholland Booth Tarkington
  • Mayo was laconic in his recital of events: he said that he had run away—and had come back.

    Blow The Man Down Holman Day
  • laconic post cards with peculiar spelling tell us that Peter is alive and well in the trenches.

    The Worn Doorstep Margaret Sherwood
  • "'Tain't no use," was the skipper's laconic report as he swung up the ladder.

    Blow The Man Down Holman Day
  • His method is gnomic, laconic, oracular; never persuasive or plausible.

    Suspended Judgments John Cowper Powys
British Dictionary definitions for laconic


(of a person's speech) using few words; terse
Derived Forms
laconically, adverb
Word Origin
C16: via Latin from Greek Lakōnikos, from Lakōn Laconian, Spartan; referring to the Spartans' terseness of speech
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
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Word Origin and History for laconic

"concise, abrupt," 1580s, probably via Latin Laconicus, from Greek Lakonikos, from Lakon "person from Lakonia," the district around Sparta in southern Greece in ancient times, whose inhabitants were famously proud of their brevity of speech. When Philip of Macedon threatened them with, "If I enter Laconia, I will raze Sparta to the ground," the Spartans' reply was, "If." An earlier form was laconical (1570s). Related: Laconically.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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