AskDefine | Define perspicacity

Dictionary Definition



1 intelligence manifested by being astute (as in business dealings) [syn: shrewdness, astuteness, perspicaciousness]
2 the capacity to assess situations or circumstances shrewdly and to draw sound conclusions [syn: judgment, judgement, sound judgment, sound judgement]

User Contributed Dictionary



See etymology under perspicacious.


Syllables: per·spi·cac·i·ty AHD: pûrʹspĭ·kăsʹə·tē IPA: /ˌpɜːr.spɪˈkæs.ə.tiː/


  1. Acute discernment or understanding; insight.
    • 1904, Jack London, The Sea-Wolf, ch. 8,
      "I understand," I said. "The fact is that you have the money." His face brightened. He seemed pleased at my perspicacity.
  2. The human faculty or power to mentally grasp or understand clearly.
    • 1856, "Selections from the Letters of Robert Southey," The Quarterly Review, vol. 98, p. 458,
      His very veneration for his father-in-law, combined as it is with a total want of the most ordinary perspicacity, is an additional disqualification.
    • 1888, "Review of La suggestion mentale by H. Bourru and P. Burot," The American Journal of Psychology, vol. 1 no. 3, p. 503,
      As the former consists in the transmission of psychic states inappreciable to the normal perspicacity or senses, the transfer cannot pass through the medium of intelligence.
  3. Keen eyesight.
    • 1833, John Harrison Curtis, A Treatise on the Physiology and Diseases of the Eye, London, Longman, p. 138,
      Attentive consideration of the phenomena of vision has led to the invention of artificial aids by which the sight may be wonderfully strengthened and preserved, and man endowed at once with the perspicacity of the eagle or the minute scrutiny of the insect.



  • Webster 1828}}

Synonyms, Antonyms and Related Words

acuity, acumen, acuteness, apperception, astuteness, clear sight, cogency, color vision, cone vision, critical discernment, day vision, daylight vision, discernment, discrimination, eye, eye-mindedness, eyesight, farseeingness, farsight, farsightedness, field of view, field of vision, flair, foresight, foresightedness, horizon, incisiveness, insight, judgment, keen sight, keenness, ken, longheadedness, longsightedness, night vision, penetration, perception, perceptiveness, percipience, peripheral field, peripheral vision, perspicaciousness, perspicuity, perspicuousness, photopia, power of sight, providence, purview, quick sight, range, rod vision, sagaciousness, sagacity, scope, scotopia, seeing, sense of sight, sensibility, shrewdness, sight, sightedness, sweep, trenchancy, twilight vision, unobstructed vision, vision, visual acuity, visual field, visual sense, wit
Privacy Policy, About Us, Terms and Conditions, Contact Us
Permission is granted to copy, distribute and/or modify this document under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License, Version 1.2
Material from Wikipedia, Wiktionary, Dict
Valid HTML 4.01 Strict, Valid CSS Level 2.1