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Terse   Listen
adjective
Terse  adj.  (compar. terser; superl. tersest)  
1.
Appearing as if rubbed or wiped off; rubbed; smooth; polished. (Obs.) "Many stones,... although terse and smooth, have not this power attractive."
2.
Refined; accomplished; said of persons. (R. & Obs.) "Your polite and terse gallants."
3.
Elegantly concise; free of superfluous words; polished to smoothness; as, terse language; a terse style. "Terse, luminous, and dignified eloquence." "A poet, too, was there, whose verse Was tender, musical, and terse."
Synonyms: Neat; concise; compact. Terse, Concise. Terse was defined by Johnson "cleanly written", i. e., free from blemishes, neat or smooth. Its present sense is "free from excrescences," and hence, compact, with smoothness, grace, or elegance, as in the following lones of Whitehead: - ""In eight terse lines has Phaedrus told (So frugal were the bards of old) A tale of goats; and closed with grace, Plan, moral, all, in that short space."" It differs from concise in not implying, perhaps, quite as much condensation, but chiefly in the additional idea of "grace or elegance."






Collaborative International Dictionary of English 0.48








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"Terse" Quotes from Famous Books



... Norman chroniclers describe the preparations of William on his landing with a graphic vigor, which would be wholly lost by transfusing their racy Norman couplets and terse Latin prose into the current style of modern history. It is best to follow them closely, though at the expense of much quaintness and occasional uncouthness of expression. They tell us how Duke William's own ship was the first of the Norman fleet. It was called the ...
— The Great Events by Famous Historians, Volume 5 • Various

... feeling so sick and miserable and down-hearted. He opened the yellow paper slowly, and then sprang up with a cry that made the boy stop in the hall and listen. Roderick stood in the middle of the room reading the terse message again and again: ...
— The End of the Rainbow • Marian Keith

... student. It begins with the downfall of Napoleon and is to come down to the present day. The first volume has been published; it exhibits thorough mastery of the materials, and great calmness and judgment in their use. The style is clear, terse and graphic. The author, who is a professor of the University of Heidelberg, is a ...
— The International Magazine, Volume 2, No. 3, February, 1851 • Various

... terse reminiscence of seven lines in Plautus (Trinummus, iv. 3). Why, Polonius is a coiner of commonplaces, and if ever there were a well-known reflection from experience it is this of the ...
— Shakespeare, Bacon and the Great Unknown • Andrew Lang

... The terse directness, a part of the girl's nature and training, was embarrassing to the man of ...
— Janet of the Dunes • Harriet T. Comstock

... summa felicitate componitur quod ab aliis sub longa deliberatione componitur.' 'Ab aliis' probably refers to Cassiodorus himself. The contrast between his elaborate and diffuse rhetoric, and the few, terse, soon-moulded sentences of his ...
— The Letters of Cassiodorus - Being A Condensed Translation Of The Variae Epistolae Of - Magnus Aurelius Cassiodorus Senator • Cassiodorus (AKA Magnus Aurelius Cassiodorus Senator)

... chord was at the tightest, just as the feathers quivered, and the barb thrilled, about to leap from the terse string, the tall form of the soldier sprang up into the clear moonlight from the underwood, and crying "Hold! hold!" mastered her bowhand, with the speed of light, and dragged ...
— The Roman Traitor (Vol. 2 of 2) • Henry William Herbert

... terse expression of Hamlet, I have often heard that Paine was one of the unfortunates who were not treated by our government "according to their deserts." It is now conceded by students of our national history that no man rendered ...
— As I Remember - Recollections of American Society during the Nineteenth Century • Marian Gouverneur

... pre-judged: that which he claimed, was the task of a philosopher, scanning facts patent to every eye—even more striking when first seen. His conclusions he attributed to the inevitable process by which facts are generalised, and demonstrate systems. His style, when deliberate, is terse and explicit: his ideas he expressed with the utmost freedom; or, as it then seemed, audacity. The colonists he treated as an operator, who indeed pities the sufferings of his patient, but disregards a natural outcry, while expounding ...
— The History of Tasmania , Volume II (of 2) • John West

... for that's all we'll get," was the terse reply. "When some folks start to kick a brick wall, luck drops a feather pillow between. Other people stub their toes. I ain't crying bad luck, because I never had any; I'm just saying we'll stub our toes, if we kick the wall. We don't have to ...
— From the Car Behind • Eleanor M. Ingram

... very last charm. His skin was pink, albeit the years of Arizona sun had heightened it to a dangerous red; his mustache was yellow and ideally military; while his pure Virginia accent, fired in terse and jerky form at friend and enemy alike, relieved his natural force of character by a shade of humor. He was thumped and bucked and pounded into what was in the seventies considered a proper frontier soldier, for in those days the nursery idea had not been lugged into the army. ...
— Crooked Trails • Frederic Remington

... occurs in Ovid. Query whether it is not a thought naturally presenting itself to the mind, reflected by memory, confirmed by experience, and which some Mimic author has made proverbial by his terse, gnomic form of expression. ...
— Notes and Queries 1850.03.23 • Various

... Will that they were cut off by Indians, and that the only hope of escape lay in a rapid flank movement, Custer's reply was a terse: ...
— Last of the Great Scouts - The Life Story of William F. Cody ["Buffalo Bill"] • Helen Cody Wetmore

... policeman, one of the permanent garrison of the quarter, who seeing one of her Majesty's carriages in trouble thought he must interfere. "Hilloa," he said, "what's all this?" And the cabman, who was a good fellow though in too much trouble to aid Sybil, explained in the terse and picturesque language of Cockaigne, doing full justice to his ...
— Sybil - or the Two Nations • Benjamin Disraeli

... Essays of "Elia," [1] written originally for the London Magazine, I feel it difficult to speak. They are the best amongst the good—his best. I see that they are genial, delicate, terse, full of thought and full of humor; that they are delightfully personal; and when he speaks of himself you cannot hear too much; that they are not imitations, but adoptions. We encounter his likings and fears, his fancies (his ...
— Charles Lamb • Barry Cornwall

... the one for the defence—Dr. Carson. I have before me an authentic "Report of the Trial," "A Vindication of their Opinions," published by those witnesses, and Dr. Carson's "Remarks" on that publication, in which he exposes their shortcomings with a master's hand, in a style as terse as it is bold, and as elegant as it is severe; never were the weapons of irony, satire, and invective more effectively used; his impeachment is as withering as his victory at the trial was complete. The authors of the "Vindications" had ...
— Recollections of Old Liverpool • A Nonagenarian

... while Mrs. Verrier, in a corner of the carriage, shut her hollow eyes, and laid her thin hands one over the other, and in her purple draperies made a picture a la Melisande which was not lost upon her companions. Boyson's mind registered a good many grim or terse comments, as occasionally he found himself watching this lady. Scarcely a year since that hideous business at Niagara, and here she was in that extravagant dress! He wished his sister would not make ...
— Marriage a la mode • Mrs. Humphry Ward

... the office, and noticing the agitated broker, smilingly said: 'I see that you are disturbed by the noise made by your neighbors in the conduct of their affairs; pardon me if I leave with you an infallible recipe for peace in the midst of commotion: Hear only what you will to hear.' With this terse counsel he quietly bade the astonished listener adieu. After his visitor had departed, the nervous man felt unaccountably calm, and was constrained to meditate upon his friend's advice, and no sooner did he seek to ...
— Applied Psychology: Making Your Own World • Warren Hilton

... no doubt but that Secretary Stanton made many critics by his brusque manner. One did not need to waste words with him, but if a communication was couched in terse language it pleased him. He disliked a cringing interviewer. I did not dislike to have business with him, nor have I ever ...
— Between the Lines - Secret Service Stories Told Fifty Years After • Henry Bascom Smith

... trio! we poor sons of song Oft find 'tis fancied right that leads us wrong. I prove obscure in trying to be terse; Attempts at ease emasculate my verse; Who aims at grandeur into bombast falls; Who fears to stretch his pinions creeps and crawls; Who hopes by strange variety to please Puts dolphins among forests, boars in ...
— The Satires, Epistles, and Art of Poetry • Horace

... noble, and magnificent vein of eloquence." And in a letter to Cornelius Nepos, he writes of him in the following terms: "What! Of all the orators, who, during the whole course of their lives, have done nothing else, which can you prefer to him? Which of them is more pointed or terse in his periods, or employs more polished and elegant language?" In his youth, he seems to have chosen Strabo Caesar for his model; from whose oration in behalf of the Sardinians he has transcribed some passages ...
— The Lives Of The Twelve Caesars, Complete - To Which Are Added, His Lives Of The Grammarians, Rhetoricians, And Poets • C. Suetonius Tranquillus

... terse, comprehensive character, which distinguishes his former productions. It is full of entertainment and instruction, clear and judicious in style and arrangement, discriminating in the selection of topics, abundant in details, and conducted with that peculiar brevity which leaves not a word redundant ...
— Ups and Downs in the Life of a Distressed Gentleman • William L. Stone

... play, nonetheless, has an obvious right to existence, as much as the short story, and there are plentiful proofs that it can be as terse, vivid, and significant. Most novelists don't tack on a short story at the end of their books for full measure, but issue their contes either in collections or in the pages of the magazines. What similar chances are there, or can there ...
— Washington Square Plays - Volume XX, The Drama League Series of Plays • Various

... amazement, as he read chapter after chapter, to find his poverty transmuted into riches by the cunning of the pen, and the devotion of the unknown great men, his friends of the brotherhood. Dialogue, closely packed, nervous, pregnant, terse, and full of the spirit of the age, replaced his conversations, which seemed poor and pointless prattle in comparison. His characters, a little uncertain in the drawing, now stood out in vigorous contrast of color and relief; physiological observations, due no doubt to Horace Bianchon, ...
— A Distinguished Provincial at Paris • Honore de Balzac

... yet 'so as to keep the substance and language of discourse?' How far did he Johnsonize the form or matter? The remark by Burke to Mackintosh, that Johnson was greater in Boswell's books than in his own, the absence of the terse and artistic touch to the sayings of the Rambler in the pages of Hawkins, Thrale, Murphy and others, suggest inevitably that they have been touched up by their reporter. The Boswelliana supplies here some slight confirmation of this, for ...
— James Boswell - Famous Scots Series • William Keith Leask

... daring of the youth. Within the canoe lay the blanket of Deerfoot, beside the rifle; powder-horn, and bullet pouch, doubtless owned by the moist fisherman. The latter looked at his property as if he could not believe any one would dare molest that; but Deerfoot settled the question in his terse fashion. ...
— The Lost Trail - I • Edward S. Ellis

... added, much rejected, and some deliberately rewritten. Now, there is hardly anything in it that is not beautiful and perfect in form. The whole range of noble emotions finds expression there, and all the guiding ideas of our Modern State. We have recently admitted some terse criticism of its contents by a man ...
— A Modern Utopia • H. G. Wells

... the case for the crown, and Mr. Crean, counsel for Mr. Lalor, rose to address the jury on behalf of his client. His speech was argumentative, terse, forcible, and eloquent; and seemed to please and astonish not only the auditors but the judges themselves, who evidently had not looked for so much ability and vigour in the young advocate before them. Although the speeches of professional advocates ...
— The Wearing of the Green • A.M. Sullivan

... the whole integer of life, constituted of the many individual lives, is shattered. If everything else written by Shelley were to perish, and only this consummate image to remain—so vast in purport, so terse in form—he would still rank as a poet of ...
— Adonais • Shelley

... ought to know," Westerling proceeded, referring very insistently to a secret of the Browns which had baffled Bouchard. "Try a woman," he went on with that terse, hard directness which reflected one of his sides. "There is nobody like a woman for that sort of thing. Spend enough to get the ...
— The Last Shot • Frederick Palmer

... never shown to Gale that daring side of her character which had been so suggestively defined in Belding's terse description and Ladd's encomiums, and in her own audacious speech and merry laugh and flashing eye of that never-to-be-forgotten first meeting. She might have been an entirely different girl. But Gale remembered; ...
— Desert Gold • Zane Grey

... the biggest audience of the year, and the programme took on a special interest from the fact that it included Mrs. Bryan's debut as a speaker for suffrage. She is a tall and attractive woman with an extremely pleasant voice, and she made an admirable speech—clear, terse, and much to the point, putting herself on record as a strong supporter of the woman-suffrage movement. There was also an amusing aftermath of this occasion, which Secretary Bryan himself confided to me several ...
— The Story of a Pioneer - With The Collaboration Of Elizabeth Jordan • Anna Howard Shaw

... situation of N.C.Os. not being able to describe the movements required. This was brought about by the promotion on the Peninsula of men who fulfilled the requirements there and got things done by giving orders in a few terse phrases of their own coining, but had never handled a section on parade or seen inside the cover of a text-book. The position was aggravated by many of the officers being "rusty" themselves and not having books of reference handy. However, the difficulty was got over by forming ...
— The 28th: A Record of War Service in the Australian Imperial Force, 1915-19, Vol. I • Herbert Brayley Collett

... is the variety of the prayers, of which we have already had several proofs. There are still two prayers to be considered in the second Epistle, very terse petitions, yet full of suggestiveness and importance. It will be convenient to consider these two together, not only because of their brevity, but also because of ...
— The Prayers of St. Paul • W. H. Griffith Thomas

... angry at my, writing it— But I've been used, since childhood's happy day, When I have thought of something, to inditing it; I seldom think of things; and, by the way, Although this meter may not be exciting, it Enables one to be extremely terse, Which is not what ...
— The Home Book of Verse, Vol. 4 (of 4) • Various

... at her in a strange way, as if he liked her terse creed, and would fain have heard it a second time. Then suddenly he leant back with his head against a corner of the piano. The fronds of a maidenhair fern hanging in delicate profusion almost hid his face. He was essentially muscular in his thoughts, ...
— With Edged Tools • Henry Seton Merriman

... depression as one of the diseases cured. What, after all, if there was something in this stuff which she had never tried to understand, had always dismissed, according to her habit, with a single label? "Labels don't help. Labels get you nowhere." How often the children had told her that, finding her terse terminology that of a shallow mind, endowed with inadequate machinery for acquiring and retaining knowledge, as ...
— Dangerous Ages • Rose Macaulay

... and farm do not develop in a straightforward, matter-of-fact way, why should I write about them after the formal and terse fashion of a manual or scientific treatise? The most productive varieties of fruit blossom and have some foliage which may not be very beautiful, any more than the departures from practical prose in this book are interesting; but, as a leafless ...
— Success With Small Fruits • E. P. Roe

... Michaele upon the shoulder. "Brother," he said, "the moment has arrived. I have locked my enemy in my room. Come on, now is your opportunity." "March!" was the ruffian's terse reply. ...
— The Tragedies of the Medici • Edgcumbe Staley

... ago, at an anniversary of Sorosis in New York, I had half promised the persuasive president (Jennie June) that I would say something. The possibility of being called up for an after-dinner speech! Something brief, terse, sparkling, complimentary, satisfactory, and something to raise a laugh! O, you know this agony! I had nothing in particular to say; I wanted to be quiet and enjoy the treat. But between each course I tried hard, while apparently ...
— Memories and Anecdotes • Kate Sanborn

... him that old-fashioned instrument, a conscience. Give me credit here for great self-control. This is the place for some preaching of the most powerful kind, but I refrain, knowing you are too much engrossed with the finishing of your house to heed it. Do you remember how it is recorded in terse Scripture phrase that "Solomon builded a house and finished it"? Evidently the finishing was then quite as important and onerous a matter as the building. I think it is a great deal more so. The carpenters and masons, to whom you pay a certain sum of money, build it. ...
— Homes And How To Make Them • Eugene Gardner

... with a full broadside. The Drake replied with the same, and the two ships ran along together at close quarters, pouring in broadsides for more than an hour, when the enemy called for quarter. The action had been, as Jones said in his terse official report, "warm, close, and obstinate." There was little manoeuvring, just straight fighting, the victory being due, according to Jones, to the superior gunnery of the Americans. At first Jones's gunners hulled the ...
— Paul Jones • Hutchins Hapgood

... re-election in 1840, preferring to study law and prepare for his future. "Honest Abe" he has been called, and throughout Illinois that characteristic was the prominent one known of him. From this time his rise was rapid. Sent to the Congress of the nation, he seldom spoke, but when he did his terse though simple expression always won him a hearing. His simplicity and frankness was deceptive to the political leaders, and from its very fearlessness ...
— Memories of Childhood's Slavery Days • Annie L. Burton

... innocent merchants in London and Glasgow was to argue as if two wrongs could make a right. The strong sense of John Adams struck at once to the root of the matter. He declared "he had no notion of cheating anybody. The questions of paying debts and compensating Tories were two." This terse statement carried the day, and it was finally decided that all private debts on either side, whether incurred before or after 1775, remained still binding, and must be discharged at their full value in ...
— The Critical Period of American History • John Fiske

... of terse, strong, and practical discourses on the religion of the home, the office, the work-shop, and the field. It tells how, amid the cares and annoyances of this workaday world, one may grow towards a noble and peaceful life. It will be an invaluable companion, an indispensable "guide, philosopher, ...
— The Olden Time Series, Vol. 1: Curiosities of the Old Lottery • Henry M. Brooks

... pasty, colourless, and shrunken as though from long fasting, but the eyes glittered in their dull sockets like a pair of black diamonds. "Fanatic" was written large all over him. He was a monk released from his vows for the performance of special duties. His tidings were given slowly in short, terse sentences. ...
— Sea-Dogs All! - A Tale of Forest and Sea • Tom Bevan

... else. The chapel was not well lighted, but the pulpit lamps shone upon him. He had a smooth, strong face; his complexion was healthy and weather-beaten; his dark eyes flashed brightly under bushy brows. His manner was calm; his style, even in prayer, was that of keen, terse argument; he spoke and behaved like a man who, having spent the emotional side of his nature in some private gust of passionate prayer, had come forth nerved to cool ...
— The Mormon Prophet • Lily Dougall

... had just begun to pall on his fancy, when the ANTIQUITIES fell into his hands. It was like a draught of some generous southern wine, after a course of barley-water. Here was Latin worth reading; rich, sinewy, idiomatic, full of flavour, masculine. Flexible, yet terse. Latin after his own heart; a cry ...
— South Wind • Norman Douglas

... come to you for my seat," was her terse statement, as she paused squarely before Miss ...
— Marjorie Dean - High School Sophomore • Pauline Lester

... Cleland, speaking of Lamarck as a scientific observer, "were width of scope, fertility of ideas, and a preeminent faculty of precise description, arising not only from a singularly terse style, but from a clear insight into both the distinctive features and the resemblance of ...
— Lamarck, the Founder of Evolution - His Life and Work • Alpheus Spring Packard

... State Department created for the occasion. His nominal duty was to explore the Continental newspapers for matter interesting to the American government, and to furnish the Secretary of State, when called upon, with opinions upon diplomatic questions. As he once stated it to me in his terse way, it was "to read the German newspapers, and keep Seward from making a fool of himself." The first part of this duty, he said, was easy enough, but the latter part rather difficult. He kept the office longer than I expected, ...
— The Atlantic Monthly, Volume 18, No. 109, November, 1866 • Various

... was Mr Roebuck's reply, which was one of the most apt, terse, and telling I well remember, ...
— The Letters of Queen Victoria, Volume III (of 3), 1854-1861 • Queen of Great Britain Victoria

... observational methods, but it cannot replace observation in field or laboratory; it offers certain exercises, but space cannot be taken to make it a laboratory manual as well as a book for study; it explains many problems, but its statements are necessarily more terse than the illustrative descriptions that a good and experienced teacher should supply. Frequent use is made of induction and inference in order that the student may come to see how reasonable a science is geology, and that ...
— The Elements of Geology • William Harmon Norton

... consistently insulted each other on all possible occasions. Now, however, there was a certain purposeful ring in Benton's voice which told the other this was quite different from the time-honored affectation of slander. Consequently his demand for further enlightenment came with terse directness. ...
— The Lighted Match • Charles Neville Buck

... Ireland in the Nineteenth Century." For what he admits to be the ruinous results of British Government in the past, the author in the last few pages of a lengthy volume has no better cure to suggest than a continuance of British government, and he defends this course by a terse enumeration of the very phenomena which in Durham's opinion rendered the grant of Home Rule to Canada imperative, concluding with a paragraph which, with the substitution of "Canada" for "Ireland," constitutes an admirably ...
— The Framework of Home Rule • Erskine Childers

... a keen observer, possessed an excellent but not lofty imagination, and never asserted a philosophy of life. His writings are all interesting, terse, precise, and truthful, but lack the glow that comes with a sympathetic and spiritual outlook on life. Zola says of him: ".... a Latin of good, clear, solid head, a maker of beautiful sentences shining like gold...." He chooses a single incident, ...
— Short-Stories • Various

... for the next foe to present himself. But none came; only Manners and Nicholls now appeared upon the scene with their rifles in their hands, and eager questions in their eyes and on their lips for an explanation of the sudden and tragic turn of affairs. To them in a few terse words Henderson stated what had already taken place, adding an expression of his apprehension that Gaunt and little Percy had fallen into the hands of the enemy, and finally directing the two men to advance with caution as far as possible with the view of ascertaining the whereabouts ...
— The Missing Merchantman • Harry Collingwood

... after reading Athanasius' curse, Which doth your true believer so much please: I doubt if any now could make it worse O'er his worst enemy when at his knees, 'Tis so sententious, positive, and terse, And decorates the book of Common Prayer, As doth a ...
— Don Juan • Lord Byron

... kind of Thomson thus to seek To mitigate my gloom, But why did he proceed to speak Of how he'd reared each bloom, Telling in language far from terse On what his blossoms fed And how he made the greenfly curse The day that ...
— Punch, or the London Charivari, Vol. 159, August 4th, 1920 • Various

... vici—(Latin) Julius Caesar's terse message to the Senate announcing his victory over King Pharnaces II of Pontus in 47 B.C.: "I came, ...
— The Kellys and the O'Kellys • Anthony Trollope

... attitude—which is entirely gratuitous—you will compel him to assume it. My sentiment as regards brotherly love is brief and terse, 'Let George do it!'" Mr. Horton was complacently consuming his breakfast with an excellent appetite, to which the prospect of six weeks among Bermuda lilies with Adrienne lent ...
— The Call of the Cumberlands • Charles Neville Buck

... I looked it over, and something more than surprise seized me—a deep conviction that these were not common effusions, nor at all like the poetry women generally write. I thought them condensed and terse, vigorous and genuine. To my ear they had also a ...
— Charlotte Bronte's Notes on the pseudonyms used • Charlotte Bronte

... had the advantage of my brother. Into his life a single woman had come from the real world. She was different from the women of our valley. I had known that the moment our eyes met, and by the way Tim smoked now, and by the tone of his terse inquiry, I knew that he had met a woman who had said "Fair Sir" to him, and I feared for him. It was disturbing. I felt a twinge of jealousy, but whether for the tall, strong young fellow before me, to whom I had been all, or for the fair-faced girl, I ...
— The Soldier of the Valley • Nelson Lloyd

... read them day and night! "Well! but our fathers Plautus lov'd to praise, Admir'd his humour, and approv'd his lays." Yes; they saw both with a too partial eye, Fond e'en to folly sure, if you and I Know ribaldry from humour, chaste and terse, Or can but scan, and ...
— The Art Of Poetry An Epistle To The Pisos - Q. Horatii Flacci Epistola Ad Pisones, De Arte Poetica. • Horace

... either of the other two. Of the stories of the old masters, "Mona Lisa's Picture," "The Duke's Commission" and "Woman's Art" are perhaps the best, and the last poem especially is very spirited and terse. Mrs. Preston's style has the rare merit in these days of uniting conciseness and directness to grace and beauty of expression. Her greatest failing is a lack of the sense of climax. There are several of these poems, like the two on the Venerable Bede ...
— Lippincott's Magazine of Popular Literature and Science, Vol. XVII. No. 101. May, 1876. • Various

... was given in a number of sharp, terse, letters, sent to the Liberator from various places where the sisters stopped while lecturing. A few passages will convey some idea of the spirit and style of these letters, thirteen in number. In the latter part of the second ...
— The Grimke Sisters - Sarah and Angelina Grimke: The First American Women Advocates of - Abolition and Woman's Rights • Catherine H. Birney

... forbearing is the All-Loving One, that He should, as it were, with such extreme affection show us a way by which to travel through darkness unto light. To those who cannot see this perfection of goodness depicted in Christ's own words, I would say in the terse ...
— A Romance of Two Worlds • Marie Corelli

... of Bacon and of Hobbes of Malmesbury; and I have brought with me that famous work which is now so little known, greatly as it deserves to be studied, "The Leviathan," in order that I may put to you in the wonderfully terse and clear language of Thomas Hobbes, what was his view of the matter. ...
— Science & Education • Thomas H. Huxley

... John, who took a wide and intelligent interest in all the passing affairs of the day, and from his position was able to learn much of what went on in the world, sat beside his uncle at the hastily-spread board, and told all the leading facts of the brief and triumphant campaign in terse ...
— In the Days of Chivalry • Evelyn Everett-Green

... from the agitating spectacle, and his troubled glance meeting that of Mr. Sharpe, seemed to ask why proceedings, which could only have one termination, were delayed. He had not long to wait. The jury were sworn, and Mr. Gurney rose to address them for the crown. Clear, terse, logical, powerful without the slightest pretence to what is called eloquence, his speech produced a tremendous impression upon all who heard it; and few persons mentally withheld their assent to his assertion, as he concluded what was evidently a painful task, "that should he produce ...
— The Experiences of a Barrister, and Confessions of an Attorney • Samuel Warren

... one-act play appearing in this volume, is the generally recognized masterpiece of all the short one-act plays. The dialogue is so concentrated that it seems as if not one line could be cut without the whole structure falling to pieces, and in these terse speeches a genius is revealed that, with something of the divine touch, sounds the depths of the human heart and reveals its inmost thoughts. "Pariah" was published in 1890 and "Facing Death" ...
— Plays: Comrades; Facing Death; Pariah; Easter • August Strindberg

... tree (xviii.) and the majestic, transcendent, invisible Being at whose word the worlds are born (i.). The style, too, differs as the theological conceptions do: it is impossible not to feel the difference between the diffuse, precise, and formal style of ix. 1-17, and the terse, pictorial and poetic manner of the immediately succeeding section, ix. 18-27. Further, different accounts are given of the origin of particular names or facts: Beersheba is connected, e.g. with a treaty made, in one case, ...
— Introduction to the Old Testament • John Edgar McFadyen

... to a stumpy BB pencil; you get less polish and broader effects, but you are still doing good literature. Sometimes the work is close—Mr. George Meredith, for instance, is suspected of a soft pencil—and always it is blunter than quill work and more terse. With a hard pencil no man can write anything but a graceless style—a kind of east wind air it gives—and smile you cannot. So that it is often used for serious ...
— Certain Personal Matters • H. G. Wells

... still more graphic and terse in statement, which has the unusual merit of painting both confessor and penitent ...
— Abraham Lincoln: A History V1 • John G. Nicolay and John Hay

... a short scrutiny declared the path practicable. Garey believed he could easily go up; and Rube in his terse way said, that his "jeints wa'nt so stiff yit;" only a month ago he had "clomd a wuss-lukin ...
— The War Trail - The Hunt of the Wild Horse • Mayne Reid

... until I recounted the story, and then only in the vaguest way. Yet when my friend the former chief-justice kindly took down from his shelves and beat free of dust the right volume of supreme court decisions, there was the terse, cold record, No. 5623. I went to the old newspaper files under the roof of the city hall, and had the pleasure speedily to find, under the dates of 1818 and 1844, such passing allusions to the strange facts of which I was ...
— Strange True Stories of Louisiana • George Washington Cable

... was prepared to ask questions, following a routine he had employed with other subjects, but Bassett began to talk on his own initiative—of the town, the county, the district. He expressed himself well, in terse words and phrases. Harwood did not attempt to direct or lead: Bassett had taken the interview into his own hands, and was imparting information that might have been derived from a local history at the town library. Dan ceased, after a time, to follow the narrative ...
— A Hoosier Chronicle • Meredith Nicholson

... learn about them some two centuries or more after the Conquest, the antiquary Boturini classified all the ancient songs under two general heads, the one treating mainly of historical themes, while the other was devoted to purely fictitious, emotional or imaginative subjects.[10] His terse classification is expanded by the Abbe Clavigero, who states that the themes of the ancient poets were various, some chanting the praises of the gods or petitioning them for favors, others recalled the history of ...
— Ancient Nahuatl Poetry - Brinton's Library of Aboriginal American Literature Number VII. • Daniel G. Brinton

... quite different lips) "I want you," might incapacitate him from prosecuting his enterprise (he expressed this idea in more homely idiom—less Latinized was his language, metaphorical indeed, yet terse); finally he had that healthy distrust of his accomplices which is essential to success in a career of crime; he thought that Sergeant Hooper might not deliver ...
— The Secret of the Tower • Hope, Anthony

... ancient and modern, who have held different views from those of Mr. Mahaffy being sharply reprehended—and the final sections of some of the chapters are devoted to bibliography, including modern imitations and translations. Although Mr. Mahaffy is never otherwise than terse—or, more properly speaking, curt—he sometimes condescends to repetition. Thus he tells us in three or four different places that Sophocles and Thucydides "play at hide-and-seek with the reader." These two authors, thus happily classed together, represent ...
— Lippincott's Magazine, Vol. 26, August, 1880 - of Popular Literature and Science • Various

... oratory, it seemed quite proper that every one else should also be elated. So he thought nothing of it and hurried Mead out to the waiting crowd, where everybody, Democrats and Republicans alike, gathered about him and shook hands and made terse, complimentary remarks, until Jim Halliday presently took him away to his ...
— With Hoops of Steel • Florence Finch Kelly

... her what had happened before I entered her room, not omitting a terse word as to the character of the men I ...
— The Rustlers of Pecos County • Zane Grey

... American, then edited by Charles King, signing his articles R. M. T. H.—Regular Member Third House. Dr. Bacon wielded a powerful pen, and when he chose so to do could condense a column of denunciation, satire, and sarcasm in to a single paragraph. He was a fine scholar, fearless censor, and terse writer, giving his many readers a clear idea of what was transpiring ...
— Perley's Reminiscences, Vol. 1-2 - of Sixty Years in the National Metropolis • Benjamin Perley Poore

... before he was allowed to talk to his own satisfaction. Then, one afternoon in her rest hour, Alice Mellen let him have his way and, seated by his cot, she answered tersely to a raking fire of terse questions. ...
— On the Firing Line • Anna Chapin Ray and Hamilton Brock Fuller

... Mr. Frederick Swanwick, who officiated as his secretary, after the appointment of Mr. Gooch as Resident Engineer to the Bolton and Leigh Railway, has informed us that he then remarked—what in after years he could better appreciate—the clear, terse, and vigorous style of Mr. Stephenson's dictation. There was nothing superfluous in it; but it was close, direct, and to the point,—in short, thoroughly businesslike. And if, in passing through the pen of the amanuensis, his meaning happened in any way to be distorted or modified, it ...
— Lives of the Engineers - The Locomotive. George and Robert Stephenson • Samuel Smiles

... helping those he loved, but only twice had any word come back from that far city where he had left them. In answer to the letter which the doctor had translated to them, there had come a brief laborious epistle, terse and to the point, written with a stub of pencil on the corner of a piece of wrapping paper, and addressed by a kindly clerk at the post office where Buck bought the stamped envelope. It was the same clerk who usually paid to the urchin his ...
— Lo, Michael! • Grace Livingston Hill

... two (leaving many points of interest untouched) upon the manner in which Mrs. Fremont has treated her subject. It is novel, but not ineffective. Zagonyi tells much of the story in his own words; and we are sure that it loses nothing of vividness from his terse and vigorous, though not always strictly grammatical language. "Zagonyi's English," says some one who has heard it, ...
— Atlantic Monthly, Vol. 11, No. 63, January, 1863 - A Magazine Of Literature, Art, And Politics • Various

... author deals with the facts of science he interests and instructs, but when he speculates he only amuses or perplexes, without advancing knowledge. His terse and luminous description of the astral firmament deeply impresses with the might and the magnitude of the vast design; but when he attempts to account for the elimination of suns and worlds, their formation and arrangement, ...
— An Expository Outline of the "Vestiges of the Natural History of Creation" • Anonymous

... mile and a half from Minstead church, is the spot where William Rufus was killed by that mysterious arrow which by accident or design, relieved England of a tyrannical and wicked king. The "Rufus Stone," as the iron memorial is called, with its terse and non-committal inscription was placed here by a former Lord de la Warr. The body was conveyed to Winchester in the cart of a charcoal-burner named Purkiss, and descendants of this man, still following his occupation, were living within bow-shot ...
— Wanderings in Wessex - An Exploration of the Southern Realm from Itchen to Otter • Edric Holmes

... with the first signs of the reaction against the influence of France, agreeably portraying the awakening of Swiss consciousness, and the gradual development of the enlightened patriotism that impelled Swiss writers to lay aside mere courtly elegance of diction for their own more terse and vigorous idiom. ...
— Atlantic Monthly, Vol. 9, No. 55, May, 1862 • Various

... of Holland. It was decreed by the States-General in A.D. 1695. But though no other nation has ever had any written whaling law, yet the American fishermen have been their own legislators and lawyers in this matter. They have provided a system which for terse comprehensiveness surpasses Justinian's Pandects and the By-laws of the Chinese Society for the Suppression of Meddling with other People's Business. Yes; these laws might be engraven on a Queen Anne's forthing, or the barb of a harpoon, and worn ...
— Moby Dick; or The Whale • Herman Melville

... philosopher of statesmen, and his style accords with this description. "His eloquence was part of his intellectual character. It was plain, strong, terse, condensed, concise; sometimes impassioned, still always severe. Rejecting ornament, not often seeking far for illustration, his power consisted in the plainness of his propositions, in the closeness of his logic, and in the earnestness and energy ...
— Southern Literature From 1579-1895 • Louise Manly

... not come back; the day, and still no Sweetwater. Another day went by, enlivened only by an interchange of notes between Mr. Gryce and Miss Butterworth. Hers was read by the old detective with a smile. Perhaps because it was so terse; perhaps because it was ...
— The Circular Study • Anna Katharine Green

... the bank heralded the appearance of the first scow, which was closely followed by the two others. When they had landed, Lapierre issued a few terse orders, and the scowmen leaped to his bidding. The overturned scow was righted and loaded, and the remains of the demolished whiskey-kegs burned. Lapierre himself assisted the three women to their places, and as Chloe seated herself near the bow, ...
— The Gun-Brand • James B. Hendryx

... an air of probability about this terse statement of the case, that it has satisfied the insatiable curiosity of infantile minds for long ages. Little girls never doubt it, and little boys never contradict it. If Paterfamilias has any thoughts upon the subject, he probably thinks this expenditure ...
— Punchinello, Vol.1, No. 4, April 23, 1870 • Various

... his ideas were terse and decided. He was strongly attached to the present, heedless of the future, and the socialists troubled him little. Without caring whether the sun and capital should be extinguished some day, he enjoyed them. According ...
— The Red Lily, Complete • Anatole France

... however trivial or ordinary it may seem to you, must be slighted. The preservation of the balance of the story is not wholly a matter of the number of words involved: often a page of idle chatter by the characters makes less impression on the reader than a single terse direct sentence by the author himself; but in general the practice is to value the various parts of the story by the word space accorded them. This rule will not, however, hold good in the case of the climax, which is estimated both by its position and by the manner in which it is worked ...
— Short Story Writing - A Practical Treatise on the Art of The Short Story • Charles Raymond Barrett

... remarked Smith, casting an aggrieved look at the last speaker, "is lamentably terse. But let us join Mrs. Mackintosh. She will support my remarks, not perhaps ...
— His Lordship's Leopard - A Truthful Narration of Some Impossible Facts • David Dwight Wells

... while under the tutelage of Doctor Johnson that Jay began to acquire the ability to turn a terse sentence; and this gained him admittance into the world of New York letters, whose special guardians were ...
— Little Journeys To the Homes of the Great, Volume 3 (of 14) • Elbert Hubbard

... fearlessly, and his terse pen dealt stinging blows straight in the face of the opponent. Indeed, as an editor he has been rarely equaled. While Greeley would devote a column to an article, he would take the same subject and in a few ...
— Hidden Treasures - Why Some Succeed While Others Fail • Harry A. Lewis

... far the other way? Could there be truth in our Oriental friend's terse commentary? The eternal feminine! The Western world has been handed over to her. The stranger from Mars or Jupiter would describe us as a hive of women, the sober-clad male being retained apparently ...
— The Angel and the Author - and Others • Jerome K. Jerome

... "Why are we New Englanders so unpopular?" Why those phrases, always kept in stock by provincial orators and editors, "the mean Yankees," "the stingy Yankees," "the close-fisted Yankees," "the tin-peddling Yankees," and, above all, the terse and condensed collocation, "those d——d—those blessed Yankees," the blessing being comprised between two d's, as though conferred by a benevolent doctor of divinity. [Laughter.] I remember in the olden time, in the years beyond the flood, when the Presidential office ...
— Modern Eloquence: Vol III, After-Dinner Speeches P-Z • Various

... like "The Ring of Polycrates," does not admit of that rich poetry of description with which our author usually adorns some single passage in his narratives. The poetic spirit is rather shown in the terse brevity with which picture after picture is not only sketched but finished—and in the great thought at the close. Still it is not one of Schiller's best ballads. His additions to the original story are not happy. The incident of the robbers is commonplace ...
— The Works of Frederich Schiller in English • Frederich Schiller

... too should have followed the example of the old Chippeway chief, not because of any wonders I have looked upon; but rather because of that well-known prejudice against travellers tales, and of that terribly terse adjuration-".O that mine enemy might write a book!" Be that as it may, the book has been written; and it only remains to say a few words about its ...
— The Great Lone Land - A Narrative of Travel and Adventure in the North-West of America • W. F. Butler

... these debates says: "Lincoln loved truth for its own sake. He had a deep, true, living conscience; honesty was his polar star. He never acted for stage effect. He was cool, spirited, reflective, self-possessed, and self-reliant. His style was clear, terse, compact ... He became tremendous in the directness of his utterance when, as his soul was inspired with the thought of human right and Divine justice, he rose to impassioned eloquence, and at such times he was, in my judgment, unsurpassed by ...
— Abraham Lincoln • George Haven Putnam



Words linked to "Terse" :   concise, crisp, curt, laconic



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