incisive

The adjective incisive describes something that is sharp, decisive, and direct. A comment that cuts right to the bone can be just as incisive as an actual knife.

The word incisive is rooted in a Latin word that literally means "to cut with a sharp edge." To help you remember the meaning, you can think of the similar word, incisors, which are the teeth that are sharp and cut and tear. The more figurative meaning of describing something that is mentally sharp first appeared in the 1850s. Keen criticism and cutting remarks have been called incisive ever since.

Definitions of incisive
  1. adjective
    having or demonstrating ability to recognize or draw fine distinctions
    incisive comments”
    “as sharp and incisive as the stroke of a fang”
    synonyms: acute, discriminating, keen, knifelike, penetrating, penetrative, piercing, sharp
    perceptive
    having the ability to perceive or understand; keen in discernment
  2. adjective
    suitable for cutting or piercing
    incisive teeth”
    Synonyms:
    sharp
    having or made by a thin edge or sharp point; suitable for cutting or piercing
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