Word of The Day for Saturday, May 28, 2011


per•spic•u•ous (per-SPIK-yoo-uhs)  adj

1. clearly expressed or presented; easy to understand
2. expressing oneself clearly and effectively
perspicuousness, perspicuity noun; perspicuously adverb

1586; from L. perspicuus “transparent, clear, evident,” from perspicere "inspect, look through," from per- "through" + specere "look at"

Synonyms: clear, obvious, apparent, comprehensible, explicit, intelligible, lucent, lucid, luminous, pellucid, plain, straightforward, transparent, unambiguous, understandable
Related Words: perspective, perspicacious

Sentence Examples:
• I am always willing to run some hazard of being tedious, in order to be sure that I am perspicuous; and, after taking the utmost pains that I can to be perspicuous, some obscurity may still appear to remain upon a subject, in its own nature extremely abstracted. - An Inquiry into the Nature and Causes of the Wealth of Nations, Adam Smith

• Such an historian would I wish to have under my care: with regard to language and expression, I would not have it rough and vehement, consisting of long periods, or complex arguments; but soft, quiet, smooth, and peaceable.  The reflections, short and frequent, the style clear and perspicuous; for as freedom and truth should be the principal perfections of the writer’s mind, so, with regard to language, the great point is to make everything plain and intelligible, not to use remote and far-fetched phrases or expressions, at the same time avoiding such as are mean and vulgar: let it be, in short, what the lowest may understand; and, at the same time, the most learned cannot but approve.  - Trips to the Moon, Lucian

• The necessary connexion of thought with the construction of a perspicuous sentence, has not, to my knowledge, been previously noticed. We are said to THINK on certain subjects, and this process is confessed to require an intense exertion of our intellectual faculties: but for this operation, the materials have not been clearly specified, nor the manner of the elaboration defined. - On the Nature of Thought, John Haslam

Sources: Free Dictionary, Online Etymology

Word-E: A Word-A-Day

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