I can't think of a word that would summarize this phrase into one coherent adjective. It's for a thesis I'm writing about a musical composer.


Well, there's perspicuous:

Clearly expressed or presented; easy to understand

You'd definitely get points for using a difficult word to mean easily understood! I'd recommend:

  • clear
  • clear-cut
  • comprehensible
  • explicit
  • intelligible
  • straightforward

Of which I personally prefer straightforward.

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  • Perspicuous pretty much fell into disuse in the 1800s, probably because of confusion with perspicacious. In some (particularly, earlier) contexts, the two words are effectively synonymous anyway. – FumbleFingers Sep 25 '13 at 15:35
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    +1 for "comprehensible", which seems to fit the request best for me. – Ste Sep 25 '13 at 16:41

accessible - easily understood or appreciated.

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  • Answered before seeing the Dup link (which I've now endorsed with a closevote here), so I've copied this answer against the earlier question. – FumbleFingers Sep 25 '13 at 15:29

There is a term, used especially in connection with complex or technical material that may suit: user-friendly

easy to use or understand

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  • Do you refer to music as user-friendly? – dcaswell Sep 25 '13 at 15:39
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    @user814064 I think you could refer to almost anything that has the potential to be complex as user-friendly. If you were discussing an opera to someone who was not familiar with the form, it could be appropriate. – bib Sep 25 '13 at 16:18

What's wrong with 'easily understood'? 'Lucid' could be a possibility in the right context. As far as 'relating to the common man', you could say that something was 'an everyday expression' or something that would be understood by 'the person in the street'. If you used 'perspicuous' in an undergraduate essay the tutor marking would probably not know what it meant and would have to stretch for a dictionary. It is a fine line between using expressive language and using over-flamboyant or slightly archaic language. 'Perspicuous' clearly falls in the latter category, in my view.

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