Definition of laconic in English:



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

    ‘his laconic reply suggested a lack of interest in the topic’
    • ‘Wielding batons, they looked like versions of Robocop minus the laconic wit and intelligence chip.’
    • ‘Ella and Joe do not remark on this departure from his usual laconic monosyllables.’
    • ‘He spoke in an unfeasibly low voice, with the lyrical and laconic speech so typical of the Jamaicans.’
    • ‘He's nothing if not honest, blunt, irascible, generous, laconic, witty and enigmatic.’
    • ‘Becky's a laconic but never sarcastic presence in the film, commenting on Paul's life with absolute confidence and a great deal of compassion.’
    • ‘His laconic intellect and twinkling eye will never be forgotten by those who knew him.’
    • ‘Is Australia's comic style too laconic to fit the rapid-fire style of a classic screwball?’
    • ‘In David McPhail's hands, George is laconic, with an embittered acceptance of an underachieving life.’
    • ‘The language in the book is terse and concise, almost laconic, and very much to the point.’
    • ‘The problem is likely to be, at least in part, Hilberg's laconic style.’
    • ‘This book is perhaps the best introduction to the Pali texts, with their peculiarly meticulous and laconic style.’
    • ‘Barthes's writing has always fed controversy: its laconic pronouncements irritate those who hold other views.’
    • ‘Ian had a self - deprecating sense of humour, perfect comic timing and laconic delivery which never failed to puncture the pretentious.’
    • ‘Costner's laconic style works for Charley, who is intended to be someone who doesn't show a lot of emotion.’
    • ‘McCarthy did thrive on television, where his laconic, relaxed style showed off to best effect.’
    • ‘Brazil's broadcasting style is calm and laconic, overlaid with a sporadic bullying streak towards the polite Beecroft.’
    • ‘In contrast to the laconic style of most garage MCs, Mills rhymes in a startling, panicked yelp.’
    • ‘The dialogue, though, is chanted in a peculiarly laconic way.’
    • ‘Her beaming presence and laconic style are likeable and lifelike enough.’
    • ‘This interpretation was then bolstered by Tacitus' dry laconic wit and Lucretius' pagan atomism.’
    brief, concise, terse, succinct, short, economical, elliptical, crisp, pithy, to the point, incisive, short and sweet, compendious
    taciturn, of few words, uncommunicative, reticent, quiet, untalkative, reserved, silent, speechless, tight-lipped, unforthcoming, brusque
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Mid 16th century (in the sense ‘Laconian’): via Latin from Greek Lakōnikos, from Lakōn ‘Laconia, Sparta’, the Spartans being known for their terse speech.