penetrating; cutting; biting; trenchant: an incisive tone of voice.
remarkably clear and direct; sharp; keen; acute: an incisive method of summarizing the issue.
adapted for cutting or piercing.
of or relating to the incisors: the incisive teeth.

Origin of incisive

From the Medieval Latin word incīsīvus, dating back to 1520–30. See incise, -ive
Related formsin·ci·sive·ly, adverbin·ci·sive·ness, nounun·in·ci·sive, adjectiveun·in·ci·sive·ly, adverbun·in·ci·sive·ness, noun

Synonyms for incisive Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for incisively

Historical Examples of incisively

  • “Then you ought to be ashamed of yourself,” he said incisively.

    The Secret Agent

    Joseph Conrad

  • The Baron's eye-glasses dropped from his nose, and he spoke sharply and incisively.

  • They are heavy and rather fruity in effect but are incisively drawn and cut.

  • "He's got a good many points in his favor," said Watts, incisively.

    A Woman for Mayor

    Helen M. Winslow

  • "That is their fault; not ours," Lucy Warner said incisively.

British Dictionary definitions for incisively



keen, penetrating, or acute
biting or sarcastic; mordantan incisive remark
having a sharp cutting edgeincisive teeth
Derived Formsincisively, adverbincisiveness, noun
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

Word Origin and History for incisively



early 15c., inscisif, "slashing, cutting with a sharp edge," from Middle French incisif and directly from Medieval Latin incisivus, from Latin incis-, past participle stem of incidere (see incision). Originally literal; figurative sense of "mentally acute" first recorded 1850 as a borrowing from French. Related: Incisively; incisiveness.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

incisively in Medicine




Having the power to cut.
Relating to the incisor teeth.
The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.