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[pur-spi-key-shuh s] /ˌpɜr spɪˈkeɪ ʃəs/
having keen mental perception and understanding; discerning:
to exhibit perspicacious judgment.
Archaic. having keen vision.
Origin of perspicacious
1610-20; perspicaci(ty) + -ous
Related forms
perspicaciously, adverb
perspicaciousness, noun
Can be confused
perspicacious, perspicuous.
1. perceptive, acute, shrewd, penetrating.
1. dull, stupid. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the Web for perspicacious
Historical Examples
  • But no matter how perspicacious one may be, one will never be able to decide anything to his disadvantage.

    Letters to an Unknown Prosper Mrime
  • Such a policy was, of course, indicative of a shrewd and perspicacious mind.

    Catherine de' Medici Honore de Balzac
  • He knew him to be nervous, on the one hand, and perspicacious on the other.

    Cosmopolis, Complete Paul Bourget
  • Fortunately for you and for me, you are not so perspicacious in psychology as this young lady.

    Csar or Nothing Po Baroja Baroja
  • But the fact that the Ghetto was perspicacious did not mitigate the author's treachery to his race and faith.

  • She consulted with the perspicacious Mr. Harris, and especially sought from him detailed information as to partnership law.

    Within the Law Marvin Dana
  • Do you fear to quote the sublimated utterances of the perspicacious, although pleonastic philosopher?

  • All was precise and perspicacious, as is required in pleadings in the civil courts.

  • Perhaps we can worm some information out of the perspicacious Jennie.

    The Deep Lake Mystery Carolyn Wells
  • You are a perspicacious observer, Mr. Brocken; and to be that is to be alive in a world of the moribund.

    Henry Brocken Walter J. de la Mare
British Dictionary definitions for perspicacious


acutely perceptive or discerning
(archaic) having keen eyesight
Derived Forms
perspicaciously, adverb
perspicacity (ˌpɜːspɪˈkæsɪtɪ), perspicaciousness, noun
Word Origin
C17: from Latin perspicax, from perspicere to look at closely; see perspective
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 perspicacious

1630s, formed as an adjective to perspicacity, from Latin perspicax "sharp-sighted, having the power of seeing through; acute" (see perspicacity). Related: Perspicaciously; perspicaciousness.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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