using few words; expressing much in few words; concise: a laconic reply.

Origin of laconic

1580–90; < Latin Lacōnicus < Greek Lakōnikós Laconian, equivalent to Lákōn a Laconian + -ikos -ic
Related formsla·con·i·cal·ly, adverbun·la·con·ic, adjective

Synonyms for laconic

Antonyms for laconic Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for laconically

Historical Examples of laconically

  • "Third," he answered, laconically, schooling his voice to indifference.


    W. A. Fraser

  • "Brain 'em," said Macdonald laconically, speaking for the first time.

  • "It's a cinch you'll take the front seat," he remarked, laconically.

  • “Everything, and more than everything,” replies my lady, laconically.

    The First Violin

    Jessie Fothergill

  • "We can always pay our creditors and let you whistle," Rostocker reminded him, laconically.

    The Market-Place

    Harold Frederic

British Dictionary definitions for laconically




(of a person's speech) using few words; terse
Derived Formslaconically, adverb

Word Origin for laconic

C16: via Latin from Greek Lakōnikos, from Lakōn Laconian, Spartan; referring to the Spartans' terseness of speech
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 laconically



"concise, abrupt," 1580s, probably via Latin Laconicus, from Greek Lakonikos, from Lakon "person from Lakonia," the district around Sparta in southern Greece in ancient times, whose inhabitants were famously proud of their brevity of speech. When Philip of Macedon threatened them with, "If I enter Laconia, I will raze Sparta to the ground," the Spartans' reply was, "If." An earlier form was laconical (1570s). Related: Laconically.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper