"You canker blossom!" 3 Shakespearean Insults


[in-sahy-siv] /ɪnˈsaɪ sɪv/
penetrating; cutting; biting; trenchant:
an incisive tone of voice.
remarkably clear and direct; sharp; keen; acute:
an incisive method of summarizing the issue.
adapted for cutting or piercing.
of or relating to the incisors:
the incisive teeth.
Origin of incisive
1520-30; < Medieval Latin incīsīvus. See incise, -ive
Related forms
incisively, adverb
incisiveness, noun
unincisive, adjective
unincisively, adverb
unincisiveness, noun
1. acid, mordant; sarcastic, sardonic. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for incisive
  • The incisive branch is continued onward within the bone, and supplies the canine and incisor teeth.
  • Below and medial to this foramen is the canine eminence separating the incisive from the canine fossa.
  • It arises from the incisive fossa of the mandible, and descends to be inserted into the integument of the chin.
  • He voiced his disagreements with me in incisive fashion.
  • Articulation proved incisive in fast movements influenced by the dance.
  • Time has not paled his incisive, brooding and anguished quasi-biography.
  • She also had an incisive mind, and in the midst of her despair she told me exactly how the company was going to fail.
  • Her language carves- and the instrument used is tonally blunt, laconic, as incisive as suits the purpose.
  • We need them to interpret our lives and let us see ourselves in an incisive and humorous light.
British Dictionary definitions for incisive


keen, penetrating, or acute
biting or sarcastic; mordant: an incisive remark
having a sharp cutting edge: incisive teeth
Derived Forms
incisively, adverb
incisiveness, noun
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for incisive

early 15c., inscisif, "slashing, cutting with a sharp edge," from Middle French incisif and directly from Medieval Latin incisivus, from Latin incis-, past participle stem of incidere (see incision). Originally literal; figurative sense of "mentally acute" first recorded 1850 as a borrowing from French. Related: Incisively; incisiveness.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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incisive in Medicine

incisive in·ci·sive (ĭn-sī'sĭv)

  1. Having the power to cut.

  2. Relating to the incisor teeth.

The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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