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  1. having keen mental perception and understanding; discerning: to exhibit perspicacious judgment.
  2. Archaic. having keen vision.
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Origin of perspicacious

First recorded in 1610–20; perspicaci(ty) + -ous
Related formsper·spi·ca·cious·ly, adverbper·spi·ca·cious·ness, noun
Can be confusedperspicacious perspicuous

Synonyms for perspicacious

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Antonyms for perspicacious

Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Related Words for perspicacious

acute, alert, astute, aware, clever, discerning, heady, judicious, keen, penetrating, sagacious, savvy, sharp, sharp-witted, shrewd, clear-sighted, percipient

Examples from the Web for perspicacious

Historical Examples of perspicacious

  • He knew him to be nervous, on the one hand, and perspicacious on the other.

    Cosmopolis, Complete

    Paul Bourget

  • Perhaps we can worm some information out of the perspicacious Jennie.

  • Such a policy was, of course, indicative of a shrewd and perspicacious mind.

    Catherine de' Medici

    Honore de Balzac

  • Fortunately for you and for me, you are not so perspicacious in psychology as this young lady.

    Csar or Nothing

    Po Baroja Baroja

  • She consulted with the perspicacious Mr. Harris, and especially sought from him detailed information as to partnership law.

    Within the Law

    Marvin Dana

British Dictionary definitions for perspicacious


  1. acutely perceptive or discerning
  2. archaic having keen eyesight
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Derived Formsperspicaciously, adverbperspicacity (ˌpɜːspɪˈkæsɪtɪ) or perspicaciousness, noun

Word Origin for perspicacious

C17: from Latin perspicax, from perspicere to look at closely; see perspective
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 perspicacious


1630s, formed as an adjective to perspicacity, from Latin perspicax "sharp-sighted, having the power of seeing through; acute" (see perspicacity). Related: Perspicaciously; perspicaciousness.

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper