INCISIVE enter image description hereenter image description here

How do you use this word if you use it ? I was reading a book which provided the translation of this word as (I will write the word which is an exact equivalent of it) CUTTING OR BITING According to the translation of this word, INCISIVE means unkind and likely to hurt someone’s feelings. But what I found in the dictionary (actually ,I looked the word up in several online dictionaries) was that: ‘think and express ideas clearly , be logical ,show a good understanding of what is important and have an acute mind.’ I am completely puzzled Does this word really have a negative meaning ? Cause I am very sure of the opposite. If the pictures I pinned show up, you’ll be able to see the meaning yourselves.

closed as off-topic by Hot Licks, Jason Bassford, tchrist Mar 24 at 16:06

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  • Hi, I’ve answered below, but for future reference, it’s better if you copy the text and emphasise with bold or italics, and provide the link. Pictures of text aren’t well received here. Also, you might find English Language Learners a useful resource, too. – Pam Mar 23 at 11:26
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    Please don't post screenshots. Please take the trouble to make your question accessible to people who can't see them by typing out the relevant text. – Andrew Leach Mar 23 at 11:26
  • Look at a few more dictionaries (Google define incisive and you'll get links to about ten). Most give sample usages. And please use meaningful question titles -- ones that give a hint as to the content of your question. – Hot Licks Mar 23 at 11:45

There is a difference between:

You have an incisive mind


That was an incisive remark

As your definitions show, incisive means 'cutting'. The apparent difference in usage is down to "what is doing the cutting" and "what is being cut". Being cut hurts, so an incisive remark is designed to hurt someone. An incisive mind, however, is one which cuts through problems. That is a good thing.

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    An incisive remark need not be designed to, or even have the effect of, hurting someone; it might merely add a clear and well presented argument to a discussion. In particular it might be one which clarifies a point and sets a confused discussion on a more productive path. A 'cutting remark', however, would always be designed to hurt or offend. – BoldBen Mar 23 at 13:07

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