A succinct message, a succinct sentence – what do these mean? Are you talking about something long, or something short? If you have ever heard someone talk about “succinct” things, but did not know what they were talking about, this is the post for you!
Succinct is an adjective, meaning short and clearly expressed. It is most often used to describe something either spoken or written, such as a message or speech. A succinct message, for example, is one that tells you directly what the point is.
If your boss thinks there is something about your latest work that needs improvement, she will likely ask you to step into her office.
If she is the direct kind of person, she will point out the mistakes you made in your last report, for example, and ask you to change them right away.
With people who are succinct, you will know what the problem is right away and will not have to discuss with someone else to clarify the message.
Examples of Succinct in a Sentence
- Our basketball coach is far from succinct; he will often use 5 minutes to tell us that we need to improve our focus in the middle of the game, when he could have told us that in less than 2 minutes.
- The news reporter is well known for succinct interviews; some of her best work are interviews of foreign presidents and prime ministers that take 20 minutes, rather than a full hour or longer.
Amy: Hey Pauline! You know how Professor Hunt was talking about the Emancipation Proclamation yesterday? The speech that President Abraham Lincoln gave after one of the battles of the American Civil War?
Pauline: Yeah, I remember. What about it?
Amy: She said it was one of the most succinct speeches ever given by a president, right? Did she say anything about why that was?
Pauline: I don’t believe so. She did say that it took him just about 4 minutes to say. Definitely a succinct speech, especially for a politician.
Amy: You can say that again. So many of the modern speeches take hours to listen to, and politicians do not always make their point clear!
Pauline: I agree. It is difficult to understand what they are talking about, so most normal people just listen to whatever the news says.
Amy: The good thing is that they can get a succinct message from the news reporter, but the bad thing about that is that the whole situation gives the news reporter a lot of power.
Other words you can create: noun, verb, adjective, adverb, etc (ex: mug – mugger)
The adverb form of succinct. If you act, speak, or write succinctly, you give a short and direct message.
- The teacher was not a supporter of lecturing succinctly, because he thought limiting the time you had to speak would force you to cut out important details of the situation.
- The secretary succinctly wrapped up the meeting that had gone over on time by highlighting just the key parts of what was said.
The best kind of explanations is the kind that is short and to the point. If you are studying for a test and want to know why the answers on your practice exam are correct, you want to look for the succinct explanations to understand quickly.
- The succinct explanations of every practice question were the reason that the professor decided to use that textbook for his class.
- John was extremely appreciative of the succinct explanation Brian gave to his question.
Sometimes, you do not have enough time to understand all the details of something. Instead, knowing the basic information through a succinct summary is good enough.
In this case, a succinct summary should be enough to make sure the other person can understand the situation enough to move forward.
- From Harry’s succinct summary of the movie’s plot, I was able to hold a conversation about it with my friends and fool them into thinking that I had been paying attention to the movie.
- The CEO was most impressed by her secretary because he gave her succinct summaries of every meeting that she was unable to attend. It helped her understand her company much better.
If you need to notify someone of something, using a succinct message ensures they will understand. This is something that is short and direct, so the reader understands what the problem is and what they have to do to help fix it.
- Sandra left a succinct message for her parents, explaining that she decided to take a spontaneous road trip for the weekend.
- Humberto’s succinct message for his girlfriend left her with more questions than answers.
Synonyms for succinct
If someone leaves a short, direct, and/or clear message, you can use these synonyms for succinct to describe it.
Something concise is brief yet thorough. You can get a message across with few words, and include all the necessary details. While many words do not have an exact match with synonyms, concise and succinct mean virtually the same thing.
- Before I moved to South Korea, I decided to read a concise overview of the country’s history so I could better understand the history and culture of the nation.
- Concisely said, you are not allowed to use company funds and bank accounts for purposes other than business.
The word synoptic is the adjective form of synopsis, or a summary. If a message is synoptic, it gives you a summary of what you need to know.
- The synoptic news program became more and more popular as people started having less and less time to spend learning about current events.
- Magazine and newspaper editors have to think long and hard about what they print, so it is important that they write synoptic headlines that interest their readers.
Something brief is something short, regardless of the details that it contains or does not contain. For example, someone who does not talk much is often brief in their answers.
If you ask what they like to do, they may answer with a single word – “swimming”. However, you know almost nothing about their hobby.
Do they swim often, or even competitively? How did they learn to swim? Brief statements often but not always lack key details. It does not always refer to statements or messages.
While brief is typically used as an adjective, in the noun form it means a statement that is short.
- I wanted to make the most of my vacation, so I had a brief stop in London before going to Paris.
- The lawyer wrote a brief for the judge to review before the trial.
Compact things, like compact cars, are small and can fit many things into a small number of words or a small body.
For example, CDs stands for compact disks, and could fit several songs on a single disk. Compact cars are the ones with five seats (in two rows) or less. A compact statement, similarly, is a full message written in a small number of words.
- The compact car was too small for the entire family to fit, so we had to rent a larger car for the vacation this weekend.
- The professor said, “Okay, let’s break down this compact statement from the judge.
Something condensed has been broken down, so only the most important parts remain. This can refer to a statement, such as a condensed message from the school principal to parents, or condensed milk. This is powder that you can mix with water to get milk.
- Jace’s first draft of his thesis was way too long, so he had to condense it down to half its original length.
- Candice did not have enough time to read the whole report, so she asked her assistant to give her a condensed summary of what she needed to know.
Laconic typically describes a person. If they use few words to express themselves, you can use this word.
- Kevin’s laconic habits made Greta mad when he would not tell her all the details she needed to know.
- My favorite blogger is laconic, but she always has very interesting insights for her readers.
A terse message is one that is very short. Describing something as terse can sometimes have a negative meaning. If you are sharing or presenting an idea you have, only to be interrupted by a terse statement, the other person probably did not appreciate your idea.
- Gary had a hard time making friends when he moved to the city because no one was used to his terse replies and his odd sense of humor.
- Even if your boss is terse with you, you may not be able to do anything because you work for them.
To the point
Something that is to the point is direct. If you listen to someone for just a minute or two, you will be able to understand their purpose and what they want right away if they are to the point. They are able to get you to agree or at least sympathize with them quickly.
- Please get to the point, as you have been talking for a full minute without saying what it is that you called this meeting for.
- I would rather have someone just tell me to the point what I need to improve on, rather than not know my weaknesses and never improve myself.
Short and sweet
This phrase is almost always used to describe a message or a writing style. If what someone has told you is short and sweet, they get to the point quickly and do not leave you many questions.
You should be able to understand the situation and have all the details you need right away.
Note that what is said does not always actually have to be sweet. People likely are not going to compliment or flatter you; this is just part of the saying.
- The professor always keeps his lectures short and sweet, so he is very popular among the students; his classes are always full.
- The message my boyfriend left for me before he left on his business trip was short and sweet, making me feel special and loved.