Definition of laconic in US English:



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

    ‘his laconic reply suggested a lack of interest in the topic’
    • ‘The dialogue, though, is chanted in a peculiarly laconic way.’
    • ‘Barthes's writing has always fed controversy: its laconic pronouncements irritate those who hold other views.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘In contrast to the laconic style of most garage MCs, Mills rhymes in a startling, panicked yelp.’
    • ‘This book is perhaps the best introduction to the Pali texts, with their peculiarly meticulous and laconic style.’
    • ‘Is Australia's comic style too laconic to fit the rapid-fire style of a classic screwball?’
    • ‘McCarthy did thrive on television, where his laconic, relaxed style showed off to best effect.’
    • ‘In David McPhail's hands, George is laconic, with an embittered acceptance of an underachieving life.’
    • ‘Brazil's broadcasting style is calm and laconic, overlaid with a sporadic bullying streak towards the polite Beecroft.’
    • ‘His laconic intellect and twinkling eye will never be forgotten by those who knew him.’
    • ‘Ella and Joe do not remark on this departure from his usual laconic monosyllables.’
    • ‘The language in the book is terse and concise, almost laconic, and very much to the point.’
    • ‘Ian had a self - deprecating sense of humour, perfect comic timing and laconic delivery which never failed to puncture the pretentious.’
    • ‘The problem is likely to be, at least in part, Hilberg's laconic style.’
    • ‘Costner's laconic style works for Charley, who is intended to be someone who doesn't show a lot of emotion.’
    • ‘He's nothing if not honest, blunt, irascible, generous, laconic, witty and enigmatic.’
    • ‘This interpretation was then bolstered by Tacitus' dry laconic wit and Lucretius' pagan atomism.’
    • ‘Her beaming presence and laconic style are likeable and lifelike enough.’
    • ‘Wielding batons, they looked like versions of Robocop minus the laconic wit and intelligence chip.’
    • ‘He spoke in an unfeasibly low voice, with the lyrical and laconic speech so typical of the Jamaicans.’
    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.