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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. 2018.
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Examples from the Web for laconically
Historical Examples
  • "Third," he answered, laconically, schooling his voice to indifference.

    Thoroughbreds W. A. Fraser
  • "Brain 'em," said Macdonald laconically, speaking for the first time.

  • "It's a cinch you'll take the front seat," he remarked, laconically.

    Chip, of the Flying U B. M. Bower
  • “Everything, and more than everything,” replies my lady, laconically.

    The First Violin Jessie Fothergill
  • "We can always pay our creditors and let you whistle," Rostocker reminded him, laconically.

    The Market-Place Harold Frederic
  • “Food,” he said laconically, as the startled sleeper rubbed his eyes.

    The Hound From The North Ridgwell Cullum
  • “That little sorrel out in the pasture,” answered Creede laconically.

    Hidden Water Dane Coolidge
  • He set the supper on the chuck-box, and laconically said: “Come and get it.”

    Out of the Depths

    Robert Ames Bennet
  • "Come to the Hotel Universelle," the latter said, laconically.

    The Ivory Snuff Box Arnold Fredericks
  • "It belongs to him," said the man with the long gun, laconically.

British Dictionary definitions for laconically


(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 laconically



"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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