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Incisive   Listen
adjective
Incisive  adj.  
1.
Having the quality of incising, cutting, or penetrating, as with a sharp instrument; cutting; hence, Sharp; acute; sarcastic; biting; trenchant. "An incisive, high voice." "And her incisive smile accrediting That treason of false witness in my blush."
2.
(Anat.) Of or pertaining to the incisors; incisor; as, the incisive bones, the premaxillaries.
3.
Clearly and succinctly stated, with penetrating insight into the issue at hand; as, an incisive comment.






Collaborative International Dictionary of English 0.48








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"Incisive" Quotes from Famous Books



... Jones goes by the name of Doctor Glyphic in these parts, does he?" said Balder, with a sudden, incisive smile, which almost cut through the old ferryman's self-possession. The boat at the same moment glided into a little cove, and the passenger jumped ashore. Charon stood deferentially touching his weather-stained hat, too much mystified ...
— Idolatry - A Romance • Julian Hawthorne

... The incisive force of his enunciation assorted consistently with the general habit of the man. Lanyard recognized a nature no more pliable than his own. Idle to waste ...
— The Lone Wolf - A Melodrama • Louis Joseph Vance

... interlocking structure of the unconscious mind of the embryo was not something that could be unraveled and examined in a hurry. Honesty compelled him to evaluate himself as young and inexperienced, not especially noted among his own kind for brilliantly incisive judgment. It was not the sort of thing that he should even attempt without long study. It was too risky, too ...
— The Short Life • Francis Donovan

... young wife's director in all matters of conscience. The letters which he wrote to her have been preserved, and we know them by the extracts and the analysis that Monsieur Rocheblave has given us and by his incisive commentaries of them.(4) They are letters of guidance, spiritual letters. The laic confessor endeavours, before all things, to calm the impatience of this soul which is more and more ardent and more and more troubled every day. He battles with her about her mania of philosophizing, ...
— George Sand, Some Aspects of Her Life and Writings • Rene Doumic

... sense, an intellectual beating. 'It is very probable,' writes Sir David Brewster in his biography, 'that Newton's idleness arose from the occupation of his mind with subjects in which he felt a deeper interest.' Nobody could have penned a more incisive indictment against the imbecility of an education system that forces all boys, irrespective of their wishes or talents, into a fixed groove. It was Newton who, in answer to an inquiry as to how the principle of gravity was discovered, ...
— The Curse of Education • Harold E. Gorst

... front of the platform, he seemed transfigured. His rapid and incisive words poured from his mouth ...
— The Authoritative Life of General William Booth • George Scott Railton

... equally to the point, I knew the author of the most incisive of the lot. So did you: you must remember John Harrington; he was at John's in ...
— Ghost Stories of an Antiquary - Part 2: More Ghost Stories • Montague Rhodes James

... and recognized, or partially recognized him, and burst out anew in violent denunciations, to which respect would never have allowed him to give utterance, except under the stimulus of delirium. The count writhed and shrank beneath the fierce stabbing of those incisive words, and, in his ungovernable grief, flung himself beside the son, whom he feared death would shortly snatch from his arms, pouring forth assurances Maurice would once have hailed as words of life, but which now fell powerless upon his unheeding ears. While Count Tristan's overwhelming anguish ...
— Fairy Fingers - A Novel • Anna Cora Mowatt Ritchie

... government with enlarged powers, and a legislature of two houses. "If they disagree," said he, "let them sit still until they recover their good humor." The method in which the new government was to enforce its powers was put in a quaint and incisive form. "My principle is," said Webster, "the soul that sinneth, it shall die. Every person ... who shall disobey the supreme authority shall be answerable to Congress." The idea that the constitution ...
— Formation of the Union • Albert Bushnell Hart

... as the loss of their rector himself. The older members of the congregation loved Brenton as a son, the younger ones as something a little dearer than a brother. One and all, they missed his pastoral visitations, his incisive sermons on the righteousness of honest living; above all else, they missed his voice. If they could have kept these personal marks of the man himself, their rector might have been welcome to believe anything he chose. He was their shepherd and their friend. His curate was there ...
— The Brentons • Anna Chapin Ray

... foremost prose writers of the time. His style is in marked contrast to the dithyrambic eloquence of Carlyle, or to Ruskin's pure and radiant coloring. It is a quiet style, restrained, clear, discriminating, incisive, with little glow of ardor or passion. Notwithstanding its scrupulous assumption of urbanity, it is often a merciless style, indescribably irritating to an opponent by its undercurrent of sarcastic humor, and its calm air of assured superiority. By his insistence on a ...
— Matthew Arnold's Sohrab and Rustum and Other Poems • Matthew Arnold

... limited, even in the vernacular, and nothing would have induced her to return railing for railing to the children, however sorely they abused her. But Jan occasionally freed her mind, and at such times her speech was terse and incisive. Moreover, she quickly perceived her power over her niece in this respect, and traded on the baby's quick ...
— Jan and Her Job • L. Allen Harker

... made no sign. Her cheeks were flushed, the lids of her downcast eyes were pink, and her voice had lost its crisp, incisive tones, but she read rapidly, without comment or pause, until the supply of news gave out. Then she began on the advertisements, dreading the end of her task and vainly wishing for more papers, though in her heart there was something sweet, which, even to herself, she ...
— Lavender and Old Lace • Myrtle Reed

... proves to be a mine of wit and human interest. A book headed by a man's name unmodified and uncommented upon—such as 'Horace Chase'—is apt to have a dreary, unprepossessing air, unless the name is an incisive one that suggests an interesting personality. Fragments of proverbs and poems are always attractive, as well as Biblical phrases and colloquial expressions, but the magic title is the one that excites and baffles curiosity. The publishers of a recent 'Primer of Evolution' received a sudden ...
— Short Story Writing - A Practical Treatise on the Art of The Short Story • Charles Raymond Barrett

... in all cases. He was a sturdy youth, courageous and defiant. From the very start of his life, he wanted to know about economics and politics. He cared nothing for books. He was a clean, stalky, shapely boy, with a bright, clean-cut, incisive face; large, clear, gray eyes; a wide forehead; short, bristly, dark-brown hair. He had an incisive, quick-motioned, self-sufficient manner, and was forever asking questions with a keen desire for an intelligent reply. He ...
— The Financier • Theodore Dreiser

... triangular township, subsisting on agriculture, road traffic, and the patronage of thirsty shearers and station hands from runs within a half-day's ride of Sawyer's "Emu Hotel," which was the incisive point of the triangle. ...
— The Missing Link • Edward Dyson

... Each word was incisive, and seemed to cut slightly like falling steel from those soft, warm lips. A sudden desire rushed through me to teach her—at any rate, to exert myself to the utmost to teach her—that her life was valuable to ...
— To-morrow? • Victoria Cross

... violently passionate nature, his manner was calm, deeply resigned, and his voice of penetrating sweetness, which surprised me in Court by its easy flow; a true orator's voice, now clear and appealing, sometimes insinuating, but a voice of thunder when needful, and lending itself to sarcasm to become incisive. ...
— Albert Savarus • Honore de Balzac

... reader's interest. The Novel, which demands sentiment, style, and imagery, is the greatest creation of modern days; it is the successor of stage comedy grown obsolete with its restrictions. Facts and ideas are all within the province of fiction. The intellect of an incisive moralist, like La Bruyere, the power of treating character as Moliere could treat it, the grand machinery of a Shakespeare, together with the portrayal of the most subtle shades of passion (the one treasury ...
— A Distinguished Provincial at Paris • Honore de Balzac

... read also, it is apparent, the history of England and of the English colonies in America, and especially of his own colony; for the latter finding, no doubt, in Beverley and in the grave and noble pages of Stith, and especially in the colonial charters given by Stith, much material for those incisive opinions which he so early formed as to the rights of the colonies, and as to the barriers to be thrown up against the encroaching authority ...
— Patrick Henry • Moses Coit Tyler

... it resembles S. c. cooperi in shortness of hind foot (18 mm.), shortness of tail (18 mm.), narrowness across zygomata (16 mm.), and grayish pelage. In the long braincase, heavy rostrum, greater condylobasilar length, greater lambdoidal breadth, long rostrum, and longer incisive foramina, it agrees closely with specimens of S. c. saturatus, to which ...
— Comments on the Taxonomy and Geographic Distribution of North American Microtines • E. Raymond Hall

... complete churches have owed their origin each to a single founder; this is due to the fact that the insight and constructive genius of the founder have chosen out of the mass of the existing thought those broad principles that the times demanded and have presented them in incisive form and with freshness and enthusiasm.[2035] Buddha's followers quickly formed themselves into associations, the entrance into which was by free choice. As his doctrine of salvation was nontheistic, so his church was nontheistic, ...
— Introduction to the History of Religions - Handbooks on the History of Religions, Volume IV • Crawford Howell Toy

... proper interest in history, it never for a moment crossed the minds of any of them to talk like the ladies of the ancien rgime or to imitate them in any sort or way. They were as natural and unsophisticated as they were incisive, intrepid, and ...
— The Adventure of Living • John St. Loe Strachey

... genial sociability, graced by, and gracing, the self-supporting habit of his soul; his intrepidity of intellect, matched by a beautiful boldness and openness in speech; the absence, too, from works so incisive, of a single trace of truculence: all this will now be remembered; and those are unamiable persons, in whom the remembrance does not breed a desire to believe him as great in thought as he was brave, as prosperous in ...
— Atlantic Monthly, Vol. 11, No. 63, January, 1863 - A Magazine Of Literature, Art, And Politics • Various

... But Florus, Tacitus, Pliny the elder, and Curtius, are deeply imbued with his manner and style. Quintilian, though anxiously eschewing all imitation of him, continually falls into it; there was a charm about those short, incisive sentences which none who had read them could resist; as Tacitus well says, there was in him ingenium amoenum et temporis eius auribus accommodatum. It is in vain that Quintilian goes out of his way to bewail his broken periods, his wasted force, his sweet vices. The ...
— A History of Roman Literature - From the Earliest Period to the Death of Marcus Aurelius • Charles Thomas Cruttwell

... Volunteer Aid Detachment Nurses claimed representation. So did the munitions workers of Godbury. The Countess of Laleham, the wife of the Lord Lieutenant of the County, a most imposing and masterful woman, signified (in genteel though incisive language) her intention to take a leading part in the proceedings and to bring along her husband, apparently as an unofficial ornament. This, of course, upset our plans, which had all to be reconsidered from ...
— The Red Planet • William J. Locke

... look better after your friend, Theo?" said her father one day when Barbara's chair was empty at dinner—with his cold incisive voice, a little rasping now that the clutch of age's hand was beginning ...
— There & Back • George MacDonald

... inaudible descending passage in the basses, answered by sweet concordant harmonies. A calm song tells of the first streaks of light; woodwind and harp add their voices; a mellifluous hymn chants the stirring flowers, and leads into a rhythmically, more incisive, but still sustained, orchestral song, which bears upon its surface the choral proclamation of the sun: "I am! I am life! I am Beauty infinite!" The flux and reflux of the instrumental surge grows in intensity, ...
— A Second Book of Operas • Henry Edward Krehbiel

... Gray led the way without a word through the driveway, and finding the street clear, hurried on rapidly. Her mind, strangely stimulated, was working in quick, incisive flashes. Her work was not yet done. The Sparrow was safe, as far as his life was concerned; but her possession of even the necklace would not save the Sparrow from the law. There was the money that was gone from the safe. She could not recover ...
— The White Moll • Frank L. Packard

... He asked sharp, incisive questions and got busy. Presently he reached for a 'phone, got in touch with a sergeant at the police desk in the upper corridor, and sent an attendant with Johnnie to ...
— The Big-Town Round-Up • William MacLeod Raine

... reproductions of the 49 etchings in which he has registered the aspect of contemporary London and New York are among the most brilliant and incisive of Mr Pennell's contributions ...
— Law and Laughter • George Alexander Morton

... abruptly as the front door was flung suddenly open and a sharp, incisive, dominant ...
— Shoe-Bar Stratton • Joseph Bushnell Ames

... [Greek: akatalepta] would be a peculiarly congenial task. Thus the commendation bestowed by Lucullus on the way in which the probabile had been handled appertains to Catulus. The exposition of the sceptical criticism would naturally be reserved for the most brilliant and incisive orator of the party—Cicero himself. These conjectures have the advantage of establishing an intimate connection between the prooemium, the speech of Catulus, and the succeeding one of Hortensius. In the prooemium the innovations of Philo were mentioned; ...
— Academica • Marcus Tullius Cicero

... This psychologic ability contributes vastly to the interest aroused by Mr. Dubnow's historical works outside of the limited circle of scholars. There is a passage in one of his books[1] in which, in his incisive manner, he expresses his views on the limits and tasks of historical writing. As the passage bears upon the methods employed in the present essay, and, at the same time, is a characteristic specimen of our author's style, I take ...
— Jewish History • S. M. Dubnow

... phrase crystallised in his brain with such suddenness that he said it aloud. Now he knew what it was that was troubling him. He had not consciously recalled the words, nor had they even made a very incisive impression on him at the time; but they had evidently lain dormant, now to return and to strike him, as if no others had been said. He explained to himself what they meant. It was this: outside, in the crisp, stinging air, ...
— Maurice Guest • Henry Handel Richardson

... ends of the world. Tresler avoided the details of his journey; nor did the blind man seem in any way interested in his personal affairs. It was the news of men, and matters concerning the world, that they discussed. And the rancher's information and remarks, and keen, incisive questions, set the newcomer wondering. He watched the face before him, the red, sightless eyes. He studied the quiet, gentle-voiced man, as one may study an abstruse problem. The result was disheartening. ...
— The Night Riders - A Romance of Early Montana • Ridgwell Cullum

... repeated, "then I must leave you, for I would speak with him," and I bowed myself off with what grace I could muster, knowing naught of such matters. A brisk walk fetched me to Serigny's side. In a few words I communicated my mission. His quick, incisive glance took in every detail of my dress and appearance, but his ...
— The Black Wolf's Breed - A Story of France in the Old World and the New, happening - in the Reign of Louis XIV • Harris Dickson

... then,' said she, 'come!' and she ushered me without much ado into a den of discomfort where sat a man, with a great beard and such heavy overhanging eyebrows that I could hardly detect the twinkle of his eyes, keen and incisive as they were. ...
— The Staircase At The Hearts Delight - 1894 • Anna Katharine Green (Mrs. Charles Rohlfs)

... A somewhat sharp and incisive voice speaking in French here struck in and prevented Graham's rejoinder: "Quel joli dessin! What is ...
— The Parisians, Complete • Edward Bulwer-Lytton

... her brother gave her such a terribly incisive look—a look so like a surgeon's lancet—that she was frightened at her courage. And he answered her in words that corresponded to the look: "It may not prevent me, either, from losing ...
— Washington Square • Henry James

... solution." Is not that a refreshing sentiment from a superintendent of city schools? Note this other delightful touch: "My teachers soon learned that I regard the teacher who works exactly like another teacher as pretty poor stuff." Before the axe of such incisive radicalism, how the antiquated structure of the old school machinery came crashing to the ground, to be replaced by a system which recognized each teacher as an individual builder of manhood and womanhood, working to meet the needs of individual children. It is not an idle boast ...
— The New Education - A Review of Progressive Educational Movements of the Day (1915) • Scott Nearing

... Incisive and harsh, with scarcely a trace of the musical tones she recollected so well, as was Johnson's voice, it deceived the Girl not an instant. Even before she was able to get a glimpse of his face it did not fail to tell her that the handsome caballero, with ...
— The Girl of the Golden West • David Belasco

... include that particular item in the report?" Lidgerwood did not mean to give the inquiry the tang of an implied reproof, but the fight with the outlaws was beginning to make his manner incisive. ...
— The Taming of Red Butte Western • Francis Lynde

... she sat and considered, the more melancholy did she become. Stephen was displeased with her conduct and made no effort to conceal it, inflicting only the greater wound by his ambiguous and incisive remarks. His apparent unconcern and indifference of manner frightened her, and she saw, or she thought she saw a sudden deprivation of that esteem with which she was vain enough to presuppose he was wont to regard her. And yet ...
— The Loyalist - A Story of the American Revolution • James Francis Barrett

... printed at Stirling a few months later. In the same year Buchanan wrote that curious tract called the Chameleon, a satirical attack upon Lethington, which is not very brilliant either in language or conception, and fails altogether in the incisive bitterness which characterises most of Buchanan's other political papers. "It is at least equal in vigour and elegance to that of most compositions in the ancient Scottish language," says Buchanan's biographer, but ...
— Royal Edinburgh - Her Saints, Kings, Prophets and Poets • Margaret Oliphant

... pigment, which in his earlier pictures was accentuated by his broad manner of handling, until in many of the pictures painted during the later nineties he attained extraordinary {63} power of expression by vigorous and incisive use of square brush-work and full yet fluid and unloaded impasto. This method with its sharply struck touches and simplified planes reaches its climax perhaps in the striking portrait (1798 circa) of Professor Robison in white ...
— Raeburn • James L. Caw

... cutting squarely athwart the vague crescendo of the floor came the single incisive stroke of a great gong. Instantly a tumult was unchained. Arms were flung upward in strenuous gestures, and from above the crowding heads in the Wheat Pit a multitude of hands, eager, the fingers extended, leaped into the air. All articulate expression was lost in the single explosion ...
— The Pit • Frank Norris

... Mainwaring, addressing him in quick, incisive tones, "I am going out to Fair Oaks, and probably shall not be at the office for two or three days, unless something of unusual importance should demand my presence. Refer all business callers to Mr. Elliott or Mr. Chittenden. Any personal calls, ...
— That Mainwaring Affair • Maynard Barbour

... begin, as soon as we know what we are looking for. One of you gentlemen, I am certain, can obtain the necessary permission to have me verify the official verdict of suicide. When we have done that, we shall have cleared away much doubt and uncertainty." His speech was now crisp, clear, incisive. "Is there any reason why we cannot ...
— Death Points a Finger • Will Levinrew

... of the big man's tone sounded keenly incisive in the stillness of the dark night. Jim started, and hot blood mounted to his head. He had been through so much that day that his nerves were still ...
— The One-Way Trail - A story of the cattle country • Ridgwell Cullum

... House. Tall, austere, white-pillared, it stood a little coldly in the heat. Before the door were five saddle horses, with a groom or two. The staff came from the house, then the President in grey Confederate cloth and soft hat. He spoke to one of the officers in his clear, incisive voice, then mounted his grey Arab. A child waved to him from an upper window. He waved back, lifted his hat to the two girls as they passed, then, his staff behind him, rode rapidly off toward ...
— The Long Roll • Mary Johnston

... attorney himself was a good deal wrought upon, for his manner grew quieter every minute. He sat with his head slightly forward, looking out from under his brows straight into the miserable little face before him. His questions came short and incisive. ...
— Peak and Prairie - From a Colorado Sketch-book • Anna Fuller

... Robert and Mary and, knowing that they were strangers, he put on his most condescending and insinuating air. Raising himself to his full height, and giving his grizzled head just the right angle for incisive speech, he said: ...
— Around Old Bethany • Robert Lee Berry

... connection with these his most profitable invention, a machine to bend ship's timbers without splintering them. The later years of his life were spent in Boston, and he often served as a patent expert in the courts, where his wide knowledge, hard common sense, incisive speech, and homely wit made him a ...
— The Age of Invention - A Chronicle of Mechanical Conquest, Book, 37 in The - Chronicles of America Series • Holland Thompson

... and they drink together, while the old men tell again the exploits and the tricks of former times, all the ancient tales of nights in the mountains; they speak a variety of Basque different from that of Etchezar, the village where the language is preserved more clearly articulated, more incisive, more pure, perhaps. Ramuntcho and Arrochkoa are surprised by this accent of the high land, which softens the words and which chants them; those white-haired story tellers seem to them almost strangers, whose talk is a series of ...
— Ramuntcho • Pierre Loti

... stately presence who looked stonily at us from the centre of Dr. Huxtable's hearthrug. Beside him stood a very young man, whom I understood to be Wilder, the private secretary. He was small, nervous, alert with intelligent light-blue eyes and mobile features. It was he who at once, in an incisive and positive ...
— The Return of Sherlock Holmes • Arthur Conan Doyle

... at the prospect of seeing the beautiful face of Gladys Hamilton in my little room; but it was not she who entered first, but Miss Darrell, whose sharp incisive glance had taken in every detail of my surroundings before her faultlessly-gloved hand had released mine; and even when I turned to greet Miss Hamilton, her peculiar and somewhat toneless voice ...
— Uncle Max • Rosa Nouchette Carey

... quick deeds, incisive words, he separated the immediate combatants, and ordered the other dogs ...
— Peace on Earth, Good-will to Dogs • Eleanor Hallowell Abbott

... understand it, he concluded. How could she, living the refined life she did? Then he chanced upon Kipling's poems, and was swept away by the lilt and swing and glamour with which familiar things had been invested. He was amazed at the man's sympathy with life and at his incisive psychology. Psychology was a new word in Martin's vocabulary. He had bought a dictionary, which deed had decreased his supply of money and brought nearer the day on which he must sail in search of more. Also, it incensed Mr. Higginbotham, who would ...
— Martin Eden • Jack London

... these war moods of which we speak are precipitated by definite and incisive reactions of fear and anger. These emotions of fear or anger seem to be the necessary positive stimuli to induce the moods of war. Fear and anger, no one can maintain, are the sole causes of war, and they are far from being the sole factors ...
— The Psychology of Nations - A Contribution to the Philosophy of History • G.E. Partridge

... in cold, incisive tones, "let's you and I have this out, and I want to tell you right here that I believe you're lying, and I've been suspecting it for some time. Now, make a clean breast of it. You've pawned it, ...
— Felix O'Day • F. Hopkinson Smith

... there, lost in reverie, I have no idea: hours no doubt. I must have fallen into a doze, for I was awakened by the brisk, incisive strokes of the ship's bell, echoed, a moment later, by eight fainter strokes coming from the deck below. Then the soft patter of bare feet which meant the changing of the watch. Though the velvety darkness into which we were steadily ploughing had not perceptibly decreased, ...
— Where the Strange Trails Go Down • E. Alexander Powell

... with his finger. Opium alone is the beneficent genius that stills his pain. We hardly know whether to call it an alleviation or an intensification of the torture that Heine retains his mental vigor, his poetic imagination, and his incisive wit; for if this intellectual activity fills up a blank, it widens the sphere of suffering. His brother described him in 1851 as still, in moments when the hand of pain was not too heavy on him, the same Heinrich Heine, poet and satirist by turns. In such ...
— The Essays of "George Eliot" - Complete • George Eliot

... word for it. There isn't any quarrel, Mr. Ware." He stepped down from the door-stone to the sidewalk as he spoke, and stood face to face with Theron. Working-men with dinner-pails, and factory girls, were passing close to them, and he lowered his voice to a sharp, incisive half-whisper as he added, "It wouldn't be worth any grown man's while to quarrel with so poor ...
— The Damnation of Theron Ware • Harold Frederic

... in the dim light—a heavy six-shooter gleaming forebodingly in it. His arms were still crossed, but as he talked he had turned a very little and now the muzzle of the weapon was at a level—trained fairly upon Radford's breast. And then came Ferguson's voice again, quiet, cold, incisive. ...
— The Two-Gun Man • Charles Alden Seltzer

... floor, overcome by sickness and the responsibilities he had carried for twelve years. Storrow, in a different way, was fully as indispensable as Smith. It was he who built up the superstructure of the Bell defence. He was a master of details. His brain was keen and incisive; and some of his briefs will be studied as long as the art of telephony exists. He might fairly have been compared, in action, to a rapid-firing Gatling gun; while Smith was a hundred-ton cannon, and Lockwood was the maker of ...
— The History of the Telephone • Herbert N. Casson

... of his life, and the life in the great outer world, in which she was girlishly and eagerly interested. She asked him many questions about it—direct and incisive questions which showed that she had already formed decided opinions and views about it. Yet it was plain to be seen that she did not regard it as anything she might ever share herself. Hers was the dispassionate interest with which she might have listened to a tale of the land ...
— Kilmeny of the Orchard • Lucy Maud Montgomery

... spite of official subordination and years of habit. His slight frame seemed to grow taller and broader as he faced the Chief with an air of quiet determination that made him at once master of the situation. His voice was as low as ever but it took on a keen incisive note that compelled attention, as he continued: "Herbert Thorne is the murderer of Leopold Winkler. Now that he knows an innocent man is under accusation for his deed it is only a question of time before he will come himself to confess. He will doubtless make this confession to ...
— The Lamp That Went Out • Augusta Groner

... suddenly raised his head and half turned back as if to speak, but thinking better of it, he resumed his chair and watched the approach of the detective with an angry frown. Clancy did not glance at Radnor, but gave his evidence in a quick incisive way which forced the breathless attention of every one in the room. He told without interruption the story of his arrival at Four-Pools and his conclusions in regard to the ha'nt and the theft; he omitted, however, ...
— The Four Pools Mystery • Jean Webster

... points to admire, something else caught his attention. When he "chipped" there was an answering "Chip" across the river; certainly there was no cardinal there, so it must be that he was hearing his own voice as well as seeing himself. Selecting a conspicuous perch he sent an incisive "Chip!" across the water, and in kind it came back to him. Then he "chipped" softly and tenderly, as he did in the Limberlost to a favourite little sister who often came and perched beside him in the maple where he slept, and softly and tenderly came the answer. ...
— The Song of the Cardinal • Gene Stratton-Porter

... palpitation of her heart was almost suffocating, and in her ears the surging as of an ocean tide, drowned the accents of the magistrate. At first the words were as meaningless as some Sanskrit formula, but gradually her attention grasped and comprehended. In a strident incisive voice he read from a paper ...
— At the Mercy of Tiberius • August Evans Wilson

... Parkman himself came in, he, too, in white gown, ready for the operation. He looked so strange; to her nervous vision, supernatural, a being from other worlds, holding the destiny of this one in those strong, supple, incisive fingers. "I don't suppose you'll enjoy this much," he said, "but you'd better get used to them. Karl may need you to do some of this for him, and you wouldn't like it not to be ...
— The Glory Of The Conquered • Susan Glaspell

... and I, dear reader, would listen to a tale which had no very great interest for us. If the truth must be told, the worthy Inspector was rather disappointed; he had expected the great man to display a hawk-like acuteness and to ask a number of incisive questions; but Mr. Jacobs asked none; he said merely, when the ...
— The Woman's Way • Charles Garvice

... statement of the law grows dogmatic and incisive in proportion as he approaches the borderland between his law and the natural instincts: "The last revelation of intellect and of sentiment is that in a manner it severs the man from all other men; makes known to ...
— Emerson and Other Essays • John Jay Chapman

... husband in the garrison town she had married with the excellent young officer, making a trifling indisposition of her mother a pretext for escape. On the night before her departure the four girls huddled in her bed after the opera and listened to an incisive account of her brief but distasteful period of matrimony. Not that she suffered from tyranny. Quite the reverse. Of her several suitors she had cannily engineered into her father's favor a young man ...
— The White Morning • Gertrude Atherton

... he glared at her watchfully as if expecting every moment to find in her deliberate movements an answer to his question. But he could not read anything, he could gather no hint of her thought. He tried to suppress his desire to shout, and after waiting awhile, said with incisive scorn: ...
— Tales of Unrest • Joseph Conrad

... An incisive voice from the doorway way interrupted, "Never mind what he thinks, Carson. I'll do the ...
— The Copper-Clad World • Harl Vincent

... frequently do not weigh above six or seven pounds; or a third less than the skeleton of an individual of the same size, recently stripped of the muscular flesh. The conformation of the skull has some slight resemblance to that of the white race of the ancient Egyptians; and the incisive teeth of the Guanches are blunted, like those of the mummies found on the banks of the Nile. But this form of teeth is the result of art; and on examining more carefully the physiognomy of the ancient Canarians, Blumenbach ...
— Equinoctial Regions of America • Alexander von Humboldt

... subscribers, the Whig Congressmen recommending the paper to their constituents. The Log Cabin was the foundation of the Tribune, and thenceforth until his death Mr. Greeley was well known at the National Capital. He was a man of intense convictions and indomitable industry, and he wielded an incisive, ready pen, which went straight to the point without circumlocution or needless use of words. Although he was a somewhat erratic champion of Fourierism, vegetarianism, temperance, anti-hanging, and abolition, there was a "method in his madness," and his heretical ...
— Perley's Reminiscences, Vol. 1-2 - of Sixty Years in the National Metropolis • Benjamin Perley Poore

... door the commander-in-chief met us, shook hands, and murmured clearly and slowly, with incisive distinctness, the formal words of French greeting; he spoke no English. Instantly there was the suggestion of Kitchener, not of Kitchener as you see him in flesh, but in photographs, the same coldness, decision. The smile ...
— They Shall Not Pass • Frank H. Simonds

... in case of her sudden return, you ask an agent?" said a keen, clear, and incisive voice, which had not yet been heard. "Gentlemen, shall we cast lots for the honor of watching the Countess St. Auban in case ...
— The Purchase Price • Emerson Hough

... Potomac, and was carried thence into the great sea of our conscience, tumultuous with pride, anger, and resolve. The drops feed the country's future, wherever they are caught first by our free convictions ere they sink into the beloved soil. Let us be instant, be incisive with our resolution, that peace may not be the mother of another war, and our own victory ...
— Atlantic Monthly, Vol. 9, No. 56, June, 1862 • Various

... most people know, his speeches are remarkable for their point, force, logical reasoning, incisive language, and straight, hard hitting, but, as I have observed, he rarely if ever essays to be funny. By his sharp remarks and his adept turns of speech he often, however, creates much laughter—as, ...
— A Tale of One City: The New Birmingham - Papers Reprinted from the "Midland Counties Herald" • Thomas Anderton

... the anxious pucker of hospitality on the face of the little hostess imposed an added restraint and formality upon the oddly assorted company of guests. Beatrice Egerton played with her rings, yawned without dissimulation, and wished she had stayed at home; Eleanor bravely parried Nettie Dwight's incisive questions about "her set"; and Betty, stirring and talking to the cousins and Dora, had time to admire Eleanor's self-control and to wonder pityingly if there were many girls in Harding College so completely "out of it" as these four ...
— Betty Wales, Sophomore • Margaret Warde

... a fencing ground for propagandists nor for puling poets, this new Sudermann piece will please. It has triumphed in Berlin and Munich. Its people are portraits taken from fashionable West End Berlin, while the dialogue, witty, incisive, and also characteristic, is one of the consolations of a play that does not for a moment produce any illusion. There are plenty of striking episodes, but logic is lacking, not only the logic of life, but the logic of the theatre. No living ...
— Ivory Apes and Peacocks • James Huneker

... face turning gray, "is a talented man. No doubt of it; his is a very peculiar and incisive talent, I admit. But, though he has broken all the old holds, there are ways of finding new ones. If you leave now, I can even promise you, my dear, that, before the next day dawns, the very soul of Caroline will be ...
— Ronicky Doone • Max Brand

... species, both externally and cranially; dorsal pelage dark; nasals broadly flared anteriorly (especially broad in relation to nasal length); auditory bullae small; molariform tooth-rows and incisive foramina long. ...
— A New Bog Lemming (Genus Synaptomys) From Nebraska • J. Knox Jones

... (render violent) 173; wind up &c (strengthen) 159. strike home, into home, hard home; make an impression. Adj. strong, energetic, forcible, active; intense, deep-dyed, severe, keen, vivid, sharp, acute, incisive, trenchant, brisk. rousing, irritation; poignant; virulent, caustic, corrosive, mordant, harsh, stringent; double-edged, double-shotted^, double- distilled; drastic, escharotic^; racy &c (pungent) 392. potent ...
— Roget's Thesaurus of English Words and Phrases: Body • Roget

... in a clear, incisive voice, though he could hardly control the trembling of his legs. "I will have no more of it. I shall not permit anyone.... I can see very well what you are at with those allusions.... Inquire, investigate! I defy you, but I will ...
— Under Western Eyes • Joseph Conrad

... agitation. For if the Indian Councils Act of 1892 had opened the doors of the Viceroy's Legislative Assembly to some of the most distinguished among them, what had it profited them? The official benches merely gave a courteous hearing to the incisive criticisms proceeding from men of such undisputed capacity as Mehta and Gokhale and bore less patiently with the Ciceronian periods of the great Bengalee tribune Surendranath Banerjee. Government paid little or no heed to them. Equally powerless had been their passionate ...
— India, Old and New • Sir Valentine Chirol

... to the motive concealed in it, the psychological spring and basis of it, the whole fabric of weakness, habit and aberration underlying it. The one achieved an agreeable romance, and an agreeable romance only. The other achieves an extraordinarily brilliant and incisive study of the Latin-American temperament—a full length exposure of the perverse passions and incomprehensible ideals which provoke presumably sane men to pursue one another like wolves, and of the reactions ...
— A Book of Prefaces • H. L. Mencken

... absolutely unfitted for their high task, since they were one and all incapable of entering into the spirit of antiquity. Although at the first reading, therefore, this book may seem to be rather fragmentary, there are two main lines of thought running through it: an incisive criticism of German professors, and a number of constructive ideas as to what classical culture ...
— We Philologists, Volume 8 (of 18) • Friedrich Nietzsche

... wicked a conspiracy as ever was invented in the darkest ages against the liberties of a free people." It soon occurred to Hamilton that it would be well worth while to explain the meaning of all parts of the Constitution in a series of short, incisive essays. He communicated his plan to Madison and Jay, who joined him in the work, and the result was the "Federalist," perhaps the most famous of American books, and undoubtedly the most profound and ...
— The Critical Period of American History • John Fiske

... rang out clear and incisive. In her excitement she had forgotten the halting phrases of the White Squaw, and spoke fluently enough. Nick was ominously silent. ...
— In the Brooding Wild • Ridgwell Cullum

... or two I sat breathless, hardly able to believe my ears. Then my senses and my voice came back to me, while a crushing weight of responsibility seemed in an instant to be lifted from my soul. That cold, incisive, ironical voice could belong to but one man in all ...
— Hound of the Baskervilles • Authur Conan Doyle

... great advantage over the writer of stories. The writer must present a clear image and make a vivid impression,—all with words. The teller has face, and voice, and body to do it with. The teller needs, consequently, but one swiftly incisive verb to the writer's two; but one expressive adjective to his three. Often, indeed, a pause and an expressive ...
— How to Tell Stories to Children - And Some Stories to Tell • Sara Cone Bryant

... widower. He met her once in a while, and said to himself that she was a good specimen of the grand style of woman; and then the image came back to him of a woman not quite so large, not quite so imperial in her port, not quite so incisive in her speech, not quite so judicial in her opinions, but with two or three more joints in her frame, and two or three soft inflections in her voice, which for some absurd reason or other drew him to her ...
— Elsie Venner • Oliver Wendell Holmes, Sr.

... I had supposed to be inevitable in such a spot, but the bright sunshine, the delicate blue of the distant Campagna, the living gladness of earth and air were too strong for me, and I inwardly applauded a lively American girl who interrupted her droning guide with the incisive "I don't care ...
— Lippincott's Magazine of Popular Literature and Science, Vol. 15, - No. 86, February, 1875 • Various

... glances at myself, I became conscious that my little blond man was studying me. Other men had looked at me, but never with such a cold, calculating gaze—and when he spoke to me, I nearly jumped out of my shoes—his voice was crisp, incisive. ...
— Contrary Mary • Temple Bailey

... the House. It was called the "Precursor," and systematically attacked not only every institution, but, it might be said, every law, and all the manners and customs, of the country. Its style was remarkable, never excited or impassioned, but frigid, logical, and incisive, and suggesting appalling revolutions with the calmness with which one would narrate the ordinary incidents of life. The editor of the "Precursor" was Mr. Jawett, selected by that great master of human nature, ...
— Endymion • Benjamin Disraeli

... Fenwick's habituation to her daughter's incisive method is no proof against this. She breaks into an affectionate laugh, and kisses its ...
— Somehow Good • William de Morgan

... sister of his as a limb of a jealous law, that would crush or annihilate her if she slighted or disrespected her in any way. But the crimson spots came back into her cheeks, and she fell into a sullen, indignant silence, that lasted long after her contemptible relative had left us with her incisive good-byes. That was a fatal visit for your poor mother's hopes, when her aunt returned she was armed to the teeth for her combat, it began the day after her arrival; she had invited herself to come and sit with us as we busied ourselves around the table in the library, ...
— The Doctor's Daughter • "Vera"

... laugh at his rules for diet, etc., forgetting that these simple directions are based on deep knowledge of the human frame. Let them laugh. Many who have tried them know they have been different people in consequence. His incisive words—"My friend, you eat too much!" "My friend, you drink too much!" would not he appreciated by all; but Sir Andrew thought nearly all diseases were the outcome of the constant and apparently unimportant violation of the laws of health. Those who were ...
— The Strand Magazine: Volume VII, Issue 37. January, 1894. - An Illustrated Monthly • Edited by George Newnes

... said Mr. Poyser, feeling that his wife's words were, as usual, rather incisive than soothing, and that it would be well to change the subject, "you'll come and see us again now, I hope. I hanna had a talk with you this long while, and the missis here wants you to see what can be done with her best spinning-wheel, for it's got ...
— Adam Bede • George Eliot

... Kielland has to produce his effects of style in a poorer and less pliable language, which often pants and groans in its efforts to render a subtle thought. To have polished this tongue and sharpened its capacity for refined and incisive utterance, is one—and not the ...
— Essays on Scandinavian Literature • Hjalmar Hjorth Boyesen

... oozing from several ugly-looking cuts and scratches. As Cornelia walked she held her right wrist tightly with her left hand, as if she still felt the strain of that wrestle with the reins, but there was no flinching in voice or manner as she stood over the men, issuing instructions in brisk, incisive tones. The nearer of the two was impressed to the extent of ceasing work to touch his cap; the second darted one contemptuous glance in her direction, and placidly continued to disobey. Cornelia ...
— Flaming June • Mrs. George de Horne Vaizey

... wholly unlooked for amongst us Friends, and that description of any part of the Lord's works is as unnecessary and carries with it as little of what we mean as can be. Incidents are greater than description, as the telling to me how a tree looked when it was in full foliage is not near so incisive as that the tree fell with a great crash during a storm in the night. Therefore it would be using needless language, which a Friend's discipline enjoins him to beware of, for me to say how friend Hicks's daughter might have seemed to those to ...
— Lippincott's Magazine of Popular Literature and Science, Volume 22. October, 1878. • Various

... had exposed the lack of real wit in my attempts at playwriting. I was humbled before her superior intelligence. Her speech had still a faint flavour of the uneducated, but her judgments were brilliantly incisive; despite her inferentially limited experience, she had a clearer sight ...
— The Jervaise Comedy • J. D. Beresford

... stepped briskly at Miss Elting's incisive command. He shinned up the tree without ...
— The Meadow-Brook Girls in the Hills - The Missing Pilot of the White Mountains • Janet Aldridge

... have been set up as counsel for the defence; for it so happened that when she did speak in those early days it was usually in defence of something or somebody—people, principles, absent friends, or enemies; anything unfairly attacked. Generally, when she said anything cutting, it was so clearly incisive you hardly knew for a moment where you were injured. She did it like the executioner of that Eastern potentate who decapitated a criminal with such skill and with so sharp an instrument that the latter did not know when he was executed ...
— The Heavenly Twins • Madame Sarah Grand

... sublingual ranula, form in the other glands in the floor of the mouth—for example, the incisive gland, which lies just behind the symphysis menti, as well as in the apical gland on the under aspect of the tip of the tongue. The latter is distinguished by the fact that it moves with the tongue. In rare cases children are born with a cystic swelling in the floor ...
— Manual of Surgery Volume Second: Extremities—Head—Neck. Sixth Edition. • Alexander Miles

... portion of the medieval religiosity which he had once so successfully and fiercely attacked. The year 1520 saw him at the most advanced point he ever attained. It was then that he produced, with marvellous fecundity, a series of pamphlets unequalled by him and unexcelled anywhere, both in the incisive power of their attack on existing institutions and in the popular ...
— The Age of the Reformation • Preserved Smith

... the effect, that is, of saying that the labor groups C and M, but not X, are underpaid, instead of saying that Labor is Exploited, is incisive. Perceptions recover their identity, and the emotion they arouse is specific, since it is no longer reinforced by large and accidental connections with everything from Christmas to Moscow. The disentangled ...
— Public Opinion • Walter Lippmann



Words linked to "Incisive" :   incisiveness, sharp, knifelike, penetrating, discriminating, keen, penetrative



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