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