I'm looking for a title for something I'm working on, so ideally it would have to flow and be attractive.

The two best words I can think of is clarity, and panoptic. But I can't have the meanings separate between two words. I'm trying to find a word that takes the best from the meanings of both of those words (or words of a similar nature).

Something along the lines of a noun (such as a real life object/thing) rather than an adjective would probably be ideal, but either works.

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    In the U.S.A, this is generally called common sense, and it is greatly admired. Apr 29, 2015 at 23:52
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    We agree on the language, @JohnLawler, but it seems to be a nostalgic view of reality. It is not as common as it once was ;-)
    – ScotM
    Apr 29, 2015 at 23:57
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    @ScotM: True, but that's why it's so greatly admired. Apr 29, 2015 at 23:58
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    "Rare to nonexistent" is an appropriate term.
    – Hot Licks
    Apr 30, 2015 at 2:23
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    Not in an absolute sense, @LittleEva, and my perception may be biased by age, but common sense seems less common than it used to be ;-) I grew up in an era when people were mortified by the prospect of being caught on Candid Camera. My children grew up in an age when people staged insane antics for a moment of fame on America's Funniest Home Videos. Will my children have the common sense to shield my grandchildren from reality TV?
    – ScotM
    Apr 30, 2015 at 13:38

12 Answers 12



n. the ability to see things clearly; rationality; sanity:

  • This is close, but I'm not sure it's the best fit. If someone is described as "lucid", my default interpretation is that it's a description of their state of consciousness (e.g. as opposed to being asleep, or intoxicated, or feverish), not their personality or ability to think clearly.
    – David
    Apr 30, 2015 at 22:58
  • @David How ironic...
    – Mazura
    May 1, 2015 at 1:18
  • @David I agree--if someone is described as being "lucid," that's my initial interpretation. However, I offered lucidity as a noun rather than an adjective and so it has different implications which are, I hope, appropriate to the original inquiry which seemed to be asking for a conceptual object rather than a qualitative description. Hope that distinguishes it! May 3, 2015 at 23:16



the ability to accurately assess situations or people and turn this to one’s advantage:



Perspicacity is discerning and clear vision or intellect which provides deep understanding and insight. One who is perspicacious:

...can offer solutions that are on the side of right and truth; is able to see through things — read between the lines; has the ability to understand and interpret his or her environment.


Savvy offers the luxury of noun or adjective usage:


Shrewdness and practical knowledge; the ability to make good judgements:


1.0 Shrewd and knowledgeable; having common sense and good judgement:

1.1 [IN COMBINATION] Well informed about or experienced in a particular domain:


Another benefit in using savvy is its propensity for combination. You can add -savvy to just about any realm of activity to communicate a persons capacity to see and respond effectively:

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    With faint echoes of @JohnLawler, I would say that "savvy" has effectively replaced "common sense" now that nonsense has become so common. May 5, 2015 at 23:11

I would use perspective. According to Collins


1) a way of regarding situations, facts, etc, and judging their relative importance
2) the proper or accurate point of view or the ability to see it; objectivity ⇒ "try to get some perspective on your troubles"
3) the theory or art of suggesting three dimensions on a two-dimensional surface, in order to recreate the appearance and spatial relationships that objects or a scene in recession present to the eye
4) the appearance of objects, buildings, etc, relative to each other, as determined by their distance from the viewer, or the effects of this distance on their appearance
5) a view over some distance in space or time; vista; prospect
6) a picture showing perspective


I believe you are looking for Holistic which Merriam-Webster Online defines as

Holistic adj.

: relating to or concerned with complete systems rather than with individual parts


Visionary covers seeing the big picture and having a clear mind; and also having vision and foresight. It is usually mentioned as a quality of leaders.

Here is an excerpt from an article about the qualities of a visionary leader:

Their thinking is broad and systemic, seeing the big picture, the whole system, and “the pattern that connects.”

Visionaries who are successful at manifesting their visions base their leadership on an inspirational, positive picture of the future, as well as a clear sense of direction as to how to get there.


Here is an excerpt describing a visionary villain (from tvtropes.com):

These are Visionary Villains, who see "the big picture", and have a clear head about what they want to accomplish and how to do it without juggling a Villain Ball.

(emphasis mine)

  • Alas, most of those labeled "visionary" turn out to have been having hallucinations.
    – Hot Licks
    Apr 30, 2015 at 2:24
  • @ermanen See, I like this one. But I'm stuck in a tricky position having to find either a real world example (object or thing) of visionary or a noun at least. And I can't use vision as a singular either because it doesn't seem to fit right. Apr 30, 2015 at 3:10
  • @ultimatefloydian: Visionary is both a noun and an adjective.
    – ermanen
    Apr 30, 2015 at 3:17
  • @ermanen True you are right. I stated that poorly. Like I said more specifically a real world object. The word itself is good, but the title I'm seeking more specifically is a product. So the word in its form as it is doesn't exactly fit the mold is what I'm referring to. Apr 30, 2015 at 3:22
  • @ultimatefloydian: But you are giving human qualities in your question. It is confusing if you are looking for an object with these qualities. Are you looking for a metaphor or a personification? As an object, "crystal" comes to my mind that can refer to clear-mindedness like "crystal clear", and as it is multi-faceted, it can provide a view of all directions as "seeing as a whole".
    – ermanen
    Apr 30, 2015 at 3:36

Usually occurs in short situations but I think it meets your criteria.

noun : Presence of mind

the ability to make good decisions and to act quickly and calmly in a difficult situation or an emergency: When the gunmen came into the bank, she had the presence of mind to press the alarm.



serious, sensible, and solemn.
not affected by alcohol; not drunk.
muted in color.




  1. (Of a view or picture) with a wide view surrounding the observer; sweeping: "on a clear day there are panoramic views"

    1.1. Including all aspects of a subject; wide-ranging: "his panoramic vision of post-World War I peace"


2. logical interconnection; overall sense or understandability.

n. late 16c., from Middle French cohérence (16c.), from Latin cohaerentia, noun of state from cohaerentem

Source: Dictionary Reference

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    @Ellie Kesselman thanks for the edit I completely missed that spelling mistake.
    – Mari-Lou A
    Apr 30, 2015 at 11:48
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    This describes the thing being understood, not the person doing the understanding. Apr 30, 2015 at 16:58


[kog-nuh-zuh nt, kon-uh-]

adjective 1. having cognizance (Definition below); aware (usually followed by of): He was cognizant of the difficulty.

cognizance [kog-nuh-zuh ns, kon-uh-]

noun 1. awareness, realization, or knowledge; notice; perception: The guests took cognizance of the snide remark. 2. Law. judicial notice as taken by a court in dealing with a cause. the right of taking jurisdiction, as possessed by a court. acknowledgment; admission, as a plea admitting the fact alleged in the declaration. 3. the range or scope of knowledge, observation, etc.: Such understanding is beyond his cognizance.

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