Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • n. Harmony in the arrangement or interarrangement of parts with respect to a whole.
  • n. Studied elegance and facility in style of expression: "He has what one character calls 'the gifts of concinnity and concision,' that deft swipe with a phrase that can be so devastating in children” ( Elizabeth Ward).
  • n. An instance of harmonious arrangement or studied elegance and facility.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. The harmonious reinforcement of the various parts of a work of art.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. Internal harmony or fitness; mutual adaptation of parts; elegance; -- used chiefly of style of discourse.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. Fitness; suitableness; connectedness; harmony.
  • n. Specifically In grammar and rhetoric, proper and consistent adjustment of words and clauses as regards both phraseology and construction; fitness and harmony of style.

Etymologies

From Latin concinnitās, from concinnāre, to put in order, from concinnus, deftly joined.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
Coined 1531 by Sir Thomas Elyot in his treatise, The Boke Named The Governor, from Latin concinnitās ("skillfully put together"). (Wiktionary)

Examples

Wordnik is becoming a not-for-profit! Read our announcement here.

Comments

Log in or sign up to get involved in the conversation. It's quick and easy.

  • "Sign language has its own syntax patterns, dialects and accents (American Southerners are known for "blurry" signing), and even usage experts, who teach native signers to use the language with concinnity."
    "Little Strangers" by Nathan Heller, p 89 of the November 19, 2012 issue of the New Yorker

    November 29, 2012

  • Awesome in the 19th century. Pretentious in the 21st.

    I wonder if I could make a list like that? Probably not; I'm pretty much as pretentious as they come...

    December 20, 2009

  • Ex: "When in Cincinnati, you will have to taste Skyline's three-way to believe the dish's unintuitive concinnity."

    August 24, 2009

  • Internal harmony or fitness in the adaptation of parts to a whole or to each other. Also, studied elegance of design or arrangement (used chiefly to describe literary style).

    February 6, 2008