Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • adj. Characterized by clear, precise expression in few words; concise and terse: a succinct reply; a succinct style.
  • adj. Archaic Encircled as if by a girdle; girded.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • adj. brief and to the point; having characteristics of both brevity and clarity.
  • adj. compressed into a tiny area.
  • adj. wrapped by, or as if by a girdle; closely fitting, wound or wrapped or drawn up tightly.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • adj. Girded or tucked up; bound; drawn tightly together.
  • adj. Compressed into a narrow compass; brief; concise.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • Prawn up, or held up, by or as by a girdle or band; passed through the girdle, as a loose garment the folds of which are so retained; hence, unimpeded.
  • Compressed into a small compass, especially into few words; characterized by verbal brevity; short; brief; concise; terse: as, a succinct account of the proceedings of the council.
  • In entomology, girdled, as a lepidopterous pupa; having the character of those chrysalids which are supported by a silken thread around the middle. See cut b under Papilionidæ.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • adj. briefly giving the gist of something

Etymologies

Middle English succincte, girt, from Old French, from Latin succīnctus, past participle of succingere, to gird from below : sub-, sub- + cingere, to gird; see kenk- in Indo-European roots.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
From Latin succinctus, perfect passive participle of succingō ("gird from below"), from sub + cingō ("gird, wrap, or surround"). (Wiktionary)

Examples

  • ROBERTS: The word succinct I don't think exists in his vocabulary.

    CNN Transcript Apr 27, 2007

  • Jerm is the veteran MC who knows how to ride a beat in succinct or elongated fashion depending on what’s required.

    Helladope’s Grand Hello « PubliCola

  • It’s rather a useless exercise to try to compare the poet memoirist’s distinct writing styles, but interesting to note how his or her prose is influenced by his or her poetic sensibilities: Orr and Ríos wrote their memoirs in succinct imagistic vignettes, Rekdal and Mora in episodic event-driven chapters, and Doty and Hoffman weave multiple intricate and reflective threads into their complex storytelling.

    Poet Memoirists : Rigoberto González : Harriet the Blog : The Poetry Foundation

  • Hanson at every turn cheapened the past by turning it into a little America, complete with a ridiculous parody of al Qaeda and the USSR mixed together in generous portions, putting in the mouths of people who were so short on words we continue to call succinct speakers by their name grand speeches in favor of Truth, Justice, and the American Way.

    Sadly, No!

  • Glad if anything I said helped, though I'm sorry for the 3,274 mile long comment... too tired to find the "succinct" setting on my brain.

    Home Again, Home Again!

  • Cindy Davis ticked off the hurdles that Biden had cleared: he had been "succinct" and had not been "condescending"; Palin, by contrast, struck Davis as "reckless" and "shallow."

    Tony Diaz: VP Debate: Three Decades of Experience vs Three Days of Cramming

  • That's the kind of succinct, loopily brilliant imagery that peppers every Tom Waits song.

    Tom Waits Shows Head and Heart in Beautiful New York Show

  • "clear", never "succinct" - his painful dictation methods representing the very antithesis of

    English-writing Israeli-bloggers

  • “Succinct but grumbly”–well, it’s not often I’m called succinct, but there’s another possible epitaph.

    “I leave you to imagine” « Attempting Elegance

  • O'Donnell says his show will attempt to offer a "succinct" summary on the day's events, and may even rip up the planned show to react to news that may get made on news programs earlier in the evening, an interview on

    B&C - Advertising News

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