Longman Dictionary of Contemporary English homepage

Date: 1600-1700
Language: Latin
Origin: tersus 'clean, neat', from tergere 'to wipe off'

terse

adjective
     
terse
a terse reply, message etc uses very few words and often shows that you are annoyed:
Derek's terse reply ended the conversation.
tersely adverb:
'Continue!' he said tersely.
terseness noun [uncountable]

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