See more synonyms for incisive on
  1. penetrating; cutting; biting; trenchant: an incisive tone of voice.
  2. remarkably clear and direct; sharp; keen; acute: an incisive method of summarizing the issue.
  3. adapted for cutting or piercing.
  4. 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

See more synonyms for on Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Related Words for incisiveness

burn, zip, keenness, bite, guts, sharpness, punch, sting, zap, piquancy, kick, spice

Examples from the Web for incisiveness

Historical Examples of incisiveness

British Dictionary definitions for incisiveness


  1. keen, penetrating, or acute
  2. biting or sarcastic; mordantan incisive remark
  3. 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 incisiveness



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

incisiveness in Medicine


  1. Having the power to cut.
  2. 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.