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[pur-spi-key-shuh s] /ˌpɜr spɪˈkeɪ ʃəs/
having keen mental perception and understanding; discerning:
to exhibit perspicacious judgment.
Archaic. having keen vision.
Origin of perspicacious
First recorded in 1610-20; perspicaci(ty) + -ous
Related forms
perspicaciously, adverb
perspicaciousness, noun
Can be confused
perspicacious, perspicuous.
1. perceptive, acute, shrewd, penetrating.
1. dull, stupid. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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Examples from the Web for perspicacious
Historical Examples
  • He knew him to be nervous, on the one hand, and perspicacious on the other.

    Cosmopolis, Complete Paul Bourget
  • Perhaps we can worm some information out of the perspicacious Jennie.

    The Deep Lake Mystery Carolyn Wells
  • Such a policy was, of course, indicative of a shrewd and perspicacious mind.

    Catherine de' Medici Honore de Balzac
  • Fortunately for you and for me, you are not so perspicacious in psychology as this young lady.

    Csar or Nothing Po Baroja Baroja
  • She consulted with the perspicacious Mr. Harris, and especially sought from him detailed information as to partnership law.

    Within the Law Marvin Dana
  • You are a perspicacious observer, Mr. Brocken; and to be that is to be alive in a world of the moribund.

    Henry Brocken

    Walter J. de la Mare
  • But the fact that the Ghetto was perspicacious did not mitigate the author's treachery to his race and faith.

  • perspicacious fellow,” muttered Jefferson, who did not like Charles Wilbraham.

    Mystery at Geneva Rose Macaulay
  • All was precise and perspicacious, as is required in pleadings in the civil courts.

  • The words you used in the presence of so grave and perspicacious a judge amounted to something very like this.

British Dictionary definitions for perspicacious


acutely perceptive or discerning
(archaic) having keen eyesight
Derived Forms
perspicaciously, adverb
perspicacity (ˌpɜːspɪˈkæsɪtɪ), perspicaciousness, noun
Word Origin
C17: from Latin perspicax, from perspicere to look at closely; see perspective
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 perspicacious

1630s, formed as an adjective to perspicacity, from Latin perspicax "sharp-sighted, having the power of seeing through; acute" (see perspicacity). Related: Perspicaciously; perspicaciousness.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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