Vocabulary Building: “CONCISE” – Etymology and Meaning

We’re learning another new word with the Latin root CIDERE – the word “CONCISE.”

The word “concise” is a relative of the word “PREcise” because it has the same root – CIDERE, which means “to cut.” And the prefix CON- means “together” or “together with.”

So, does the word mean “TO CUT TOGETHER?” Well, let’s try to dig at the origin of the word. Like the word “PREcise,” the word CONcise is an adjective and really means “saying a lot in few words.”

In other words, it means “brief but filled with meaning.”

So what does that have to do with “cutting together?” Well, let me show you the connection.

I want you to imagine a stack of wood. It has to be cut and trimmed nicely in order to stack it tightly. In other words, if you cut the wood, you can stack more of it in less space. In effect, this wood is CUT TOGETHER; it fits together nicely and tightly because it’s cut up.

So, when something is CONCISE, it fits a lot together without taking up too much space. That’s why it’s concise – it is well cut together.

To be concise means to be able to tell a story or explain something very well – but briefly. It’s being brief but comprehensive.

In the comments below, let me know what words you want to learn and drive deep into your memory.



Tutor Phil

Tutor Phil is an e-learning professional who helps adult learners finish their degrees by teaching them academic writing skills.

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