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[pur-spi-kas-i-tee] /ˌpɜr spɪˈkæs ɪ ti/
keenness of mental perception and understanding; discernment; penetration.
Archaic. keen vision.
Origin of perspicacity
1540-50; earlier perspicacite < Late Latin perspicācitās sharpness of sight, equivalent to perspicāci- (stem of perspicāx sharp-sighted; see perspicuous) + -tās -ty2
1. shrewdness, acuity, astuteness, insight, acumen. See perspicuity.
1. obtuseness. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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Examples from the Web for perspicacity
Historical Examples
  • I am not in the least disconcerted by this display of perspicacity.

    Notes on My Books Joseph Conrad
  • Your reading of my character does honour to your perspicacity.

  • The dear woman had known nothing of the kind and her perspicacity amazed her.

    The Paliser case Edgar Saltus
  • He stopped there with such an air of triumph and perspicacity that I was angry with him.

    In Direst Peril David Christie Murray
  • Yet the perspicacity that he seldom wanted failed him at that moment.

    Lectures on the French Revolution John Emerich Edward Dalberg-Acton
  • I looked at her, finding no words to express my astonishment at this perspicacity.

    The Crossing Winston Churchill
  • Stenovics chuckled in apparent satisfaction at his own perspicacity.

    Sophy of Kravonia Anthony Hope
  • And he is reaping a very tidy little harvest for his perspicacity.

    Thorley Weir

    E. F. (Edward Frederic) Benson
  • Mirko with perspicacity, and Ragna with a sort of subconscious expectation.


    Anna Miller Costantini
  • Being a woman of some perspicacity, she did not really need to inspect the postmarks.

    Mrs. Maxon Protests Anthony Hope
Word Origin and History for perspicacity

1540s, from Middle French perspicacité (15c.) and directly from Late Latin perspicacitas "sharp-sightedness, discernment," from Latin perspicax "sharp-sighted, having the power of seeing through," from perspicere "look through, look closely at" (see perspective).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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