Definitions

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

  • n. Terseness or succinctness of style or expression.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. Extreme brevity in expression.
  • n. A very or notably brief expression.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. A vigorous, brief manner of expression; laconic style.
  • n. An instance of laconic style or expression.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. Pointed brevity of speech or expression; sententiousness; conciseness; pithiness.
  • n. A concise or pithy expression; an utterance conveying much meaning in few words.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • n. terseness of expression

Etymologies

From Latin laconia, from Ancient Greek Λακεδαίμων (Lacedaemon, "the region surrounding the city of Sparta") (Wiktionary)

Examples

  • First he had not sufficient command of English to translate with the necessary laconism and assonance: secondly in his day British Philistinism was too rampant to permit a literal translation.

    The Book of The Thousand Nights And A Night

  • Jake Gyllenhaal brought just the right mix of cowboy laconism, and passion, to Brokeback Mountain, a film that's on the trail toward rustling up Oscar gold.

    Jake Gyllenhaal Vanity Fair shoot

  • I am glad you have connected your negotiations and anecdotes; and, I hope, not with your usual laconism.

    Letters to his son on The Art of Becoming a Man of the World and a Gentleman

  • Knowing, however, how little laconism is prized by an East-African audience, I did not fail to follow up this answer with an Arabic speech of the dimensions of an average sermon, and then shouldering my blade left the circle abruptly.

    First footsteps in East Africa

  • Upon legal matters, public ceremonies, fetes of different times, there was also silence at the best, the same laconism; and when we come to the affairs of Rome and of the League, it is a pleasure to see the author glide over that dangerous ice on his Jesuit skates!

    Court Memoirs of France Series — Complete

  • I have purposed to avoid all exuberant ornaments of style, all pompous parade of erudition, and contented myself with a plain diction, and a strict laconism.

    A Guide for the Religious Instruction of Jewish Youth

  • Perhaps her demeanor was stiller, her laconism curter, her distaste to uninteresting companionship and current small-talk more profound, than usual; but no one seemed to see the deeper tinge of her ordinary color, and she passed muster, for her creditably.

    Lippincott's Magazine of Popular Literature and Science Volume 17, No. 101, May, 1876

  • For a day or two following Devereau's unsatisfactory laconism nothing developed.

    Winner Take All

  • "Fifty-one cents," said the girl, through the inimitable laconism of gum chewing.

    Star-Dust

  • "Blight, Mildew, and Smut," he replied, with the laconism of one who is absolutely certain of his own mind.

    Crome Yellow

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.