from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition.

  • adjective Using or marked by the use of few words; terse or concise.

from The Century Dictionary.

  • Pertaining to Laconia or its inhabitants; Lacedæmonian or Spartan.
  • Expressing much in few words, after the manner of the ancient Laconians; sententious; pithy; short; brief: as, a laconic phrase.
  • Characteristic of the Laconians; inexorable; stern; severe.
  • Synonyms Condensed, Succinct, etc. See concise.
  • noun Conciseness of language; laconicism.
  • noun A concise, pithy expression; something expressed in a concise, pithy manner; a laconism: chiefly used in the plural: as, to talk in laconics.
  • noun In ancient prosody, an anapestic tetrameter catalectic with a spondee instead of the penultimate anapest . So called as a variety of the tetrameter used in the Laconian or Spartan embateria.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English.

  • adjective Expressing much in few words, after the manner of the Laconians or Spartans; brief and pithy; concise; brusque; epigrammatic. In this sense laconic is the usual form.
  • adjective Laconian; characteristic of, or like, the Spartans; hence, stern or severe; cruel; unflinching.
  • noun obsolete Laconism.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.

  • adjective Using as few words as possible; pithy and concise.

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

  • adjective brief and to the point; effectively cut short


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

[Latin Lacōnicus, Spartan, from Greek Lakōnikos, from Lakōn, a Spartan (from the reputation of the Spartans for brevity of speech).]

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

From Latin Lacōnicus ("Spartan"), from Ancient Greek Λακωνικός (Lakōnikos, "Laconian"). Laconia was the region inhabited and ruled by the Spartans, who were known for their brevity in speech.


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  • "She's terse. I can be terse. Once in flight school, I was laconic."

    January 13, 2007

  • Similar to spartan, for obvious reasons.

    January 14, 2007

  • ANGEL: Hey guys. (He looks up) Oz.

    OZ: Hey.

    ANGEL: Nice surprise.

    OZ: Thanks.

    ANGEL: Staying long?

    OZ: Few days.

    DOYLE: Are they always like this?

    OZ: No, we're usually laconic.

    Think Joss likes that word or something? :D

    December 18, 2007

  • Ha ha! I remember that episode. "Angel" actually expanded my vocabulary a good bit. (Although I'm not sure if that's a good thing.)

    I use it all the time and people look at me and say "Wha?" I just laugh.

    February 20, 2008

  • Laconic tends to me more about spare speech, and spartan more about spare living....

    August 16, 2008

  • True.

    August 16, 2008

  • "a response so curt as to be almost rude"

    April 3, 2009

  • heh

    April 4, 2009

  • i always think of a high school skater boy who acts like he doesn't care by hardly nodding in response to things

    September 6, 2009

  • What exactly is a skater boy?

    September 6, 2009

  •, He had a reputation for being laconic.

    November 5, 2010

  • (describes a person, speech, or style of writing) using very few words

    While Martha always swooned over the hunky, laconic types in romantic comedies, her boyfriends inevitably were very talkative—and not very hunky.

    October 11, 2016

  • Chuck Palahniuk's prose is laconic.

    November 21, 2023