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[luh-kon-ik] /ləˈkɒn ɪk/
using few words; expressing much in few words; concise:
a laconic reply.
Origin of laconic
1580-90; < Latin Lacōnicus < Greek Lakōnikós Laconian, equivalent to Lákōn a Laconian + -ikos -ic
Related forms
laconically, adverb
unlaconic, adjective
brief, pithy, terse; succinct.
voluble. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for laconic
  • The crew members themselves are laconic about the planned mission.
  • When it is so spot on that there can be no reasoned argument against it, the result is inchoate unreasoned laconic anger.
  • Her language carves- and the instrument used is tonally blunt, laconic, as incisive as suits the purpose.
  • His tone is low to the ground and world-weary, yet laconic.
  • His paintings are similarly laconic, paradoxically filled with emptiness and silence.
  • Along the way he made laconic diary notes about things he had seen and done, and places where he ate and slept.
British Dictionary definitions for laconic


(of a person's speech) using few words; terse
Derived Forms
laconically, adverb
Word Origin
C16: via Latin from Greek Lakōnikos, from Lakōn Laconian, Spartan; referring to the Spartans' terseness of speech
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
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Word Origin and History for laconic

"concise, abrupt," 1580s, probably via Latin Laconicus, from Greek Lakonikos, from Lakon "person from Lakonia," the district around Sparta in southern Greece in ancient times, whose inhabitants were famously proud of their brevity of speech. When Philip of Macedon threatened them with, "If I enter Laconia, I will raze Sparta to the ground," the Spartans' reply was, "If." An earlier form was laconical (1570s). Related: Laconically.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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