Cambridge Dictionaries online Cambridge Dictionaries online

The most popular online dictionary and thesaurus for learners of English

  

English definition of “terse”

terse

adjective     /tɜːs/ US  /tɝːs/
using few words, sometimes in a way that seems rude or unfriendly : "Are you feeling any better ?" "No!" was the terse reply .Blunt and direct in speech and behaviourNot saying muchNot being friendlyNot saying muchBlunt and direct in speech and behaviourNot being friendlyDigressing and being indirect or evasive tersely     /ˈtɜːs.li/ US  /ˈtɝː-/ adverb Blunt and direct in speech and behaviourNot saying muchNot being friendlyNot saying muchBlunt and direct in speech and behaviourNot being friendlyDigressing and being indirect or evasive terseness     /ˈtɜːs.nəs/ US  /ˈtɝː-/ noun [U] Blunt and direct in speech and behaviourNot saying muchNot being friendlyNot saying muchBlunt and direct in speech and behaviourNot being friendlyDigressing and being indirect or evasive
(Definition of terse adjective from the Cambridge Advanced Learner's Dictionary & Thesaurus © Cambridge University Press)
Focus on the pronunciation of terse

Definitions of “terse” in other dictionaries

Word of the Day

prenuptial agreement

an official document signed by two people before they get married that says what will happen to their possessions and/or children if they divorce (= officially stop being married)

Word of the Day

Blog

Read our blog about how the English language behaves.

Learn More

New Words

Find words and meanings that have just started to be used in English, and let us know what you think of them.

Learn More