- 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 terseness
"Been and gone," was the secretary's answer, with the terseness characteristic of her.Within the Law
Rad scowled and said nothing, and the rest of his answers were terseness itself.The Four Pools Mystery
Of course, the matter of terseness can be run into the ground.Letters from an Old Railway Official
Charles DeLano Hine
His terseness was calculated: that, he thought, would best control her wildness.Cytherea
There is a terseness in the following which seems to be inimitable.Law and Laughter
George Alexander Morton
- neatly brief and concise
- curt; abrupt
Word Origin and History for terseness
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.