- neatly or effectively concise; brief and pithy, as language.
- abruptly concise; curt; brusque.
Origin of terse
SynonymsSee more synonyms on Thesaurus.com
Examples from the Web for terse
The comparison prompted Kelly to release the terse statement: “Martha McSally is no Gabby Giffords.”The Battle Is On in Gabby Giffords’s Old District
October 9, 2014
It is a mighty tough slog, I will have to give them that, written in terse and exclusive science-ese.No, Stem Cells Don't Cause Autism
September 11, 2014
She had earlier offered a terse description of how her asthmatic brother had come to die.The Gentle Giant Cut Down by Cops
July 24, 2014
My response to poisonous emails is a terse “thank you for contacting me” and nothing more.Pediatrician: Don’t Make Your Kid’s Healthcare a Proxy in Your Divorce Battles
February 14, 2014
Take this terse evasion of offering anything substantive, for example.Eliot Spitzer’s Comeback: ‘The Good Wife’ in Real Life
July 18, 2013
This is terse, but it involved much more than was said, as will later appear.Policing the Plains
"I did not notice any sign that you did," was the terse response.Steve and the Steam Engine
Sara Ware Bassett
The Master was unimpeachable; His terse, cogent assertions were unanswerable.Jesus the Christ
James Edward Talmage
"Get Benson by himself and frighten him into a confession," was the terse reply.The Shrieking Pit
Arthur J. Rees
But with the true poet every thing is terse, touching, or brilliant.The Sketch Book of Geoffrey Crayon, Gent.
- neatly brief and concise
- curt; abrupt
Word Origin and History for terse
1590s (implied in tersely), "clean-cut, burnished, neat," from French ters "clean," from Latin tersus "wiped off, clean, neat," from past participle of tergere "to rub, polish, wipe." Sense of "concise or pithy in style or language" is from 1777, which led to a general sense of "neatly concise." The pejorative meaning "brusque" is a fairly recent development. Related: Terseness.