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Concise vs. Succinct: What's the Difference?

Edited by Harlon Moss || By Janet White || Updated on October 7, 2023
Concise means giving much information clearly and in a few words; Succinct is briefly and clearly expressed, typically more terse and to the point.

Key Differences

The term "concise" denotes the expression of thoughts or information in a clear and brief manner, eliminating unnecessary words while retaining the essence. Conversely, "succinct" means presenting information in a compact manner, often with a notable economy of words, making it exceptionally clear and concise.
While concise communication is brief and does not have unnecessary details, it can be elaborative if the essence requires it, focusing on being clear and informative. Succinctness, however, leans more towards brevity, often being more terse and condensed, providing just enough to convey the message without extra elaboration.
Concise writing or speech is characterized by effectiveness and efficiency in communication, it aims to be comprehensive yet brief, avoiding verbosity. Succinct communication, on the other hand, is synonymous with conciseness but adds an element of compactness, being more refined and pinpointed.
Being concise is about striking a balance between informativeness and brevity, ensuring the communication is not overloaded with superfluous information. In contrast, being succinct often involves sharpness and a precise choice of words, creating a compact expression that is straightforward and to the point.
In essence, concise communication serves information trimmed of excess, focusing on clarity and relevance. Succinct communication, while also clear and relevant, is usually more terse and compact, often conveying complex ideas with minimal words and maximal clarity.

Comparison Chart


Clear and brief communication without unnecessary words.
Brief, clear expression, often more terse.


Clarity and informativeness.
Brevity and compactness.

Detail Level

Can be elaborative if necessary.
Typically more condensed and to the point.


Useful when details are important.
Effective when quick, clear understanding is key.


Balanced and informative.
Sharp and pinpointed.

Concise and Succinct Definitions


Expressing or covering much in few words without unnecessary details.
Her concise summary covered all the key points.


Expressed in few words; concise to the point of being terse.
His succinct reply answered the question effectively.


Clear and succinct, with no wasted words.
The instructions were concise and easy to follow.


Clearly and briefly stated; concise.
The succinct statement provided a clear overview.


Brief but comprehensive.
He gave a concise overview of the company’s financial status.


Briefly and clearly expressed without unnecessary words.
The instructions were succinct and to the point.


Compact, yet encompassing the essential aspects.
The concise explanation was appreciated by the busy executive.


Having clarity with minimal words.
Her succinct presentation was well-received.


Providing a lot of information clearly and in a few words.
The report was concise but informative.


Characterized by compact precision.
The article was succinct yet enlightening.


Expressing much in few words; clear and succinct.


Characterized by clear, precise expression in few words; concise and terse
A succinct reply.
A succinct style.


Brief, yet including all important information


(Archaic) Encircled as if by a girdle; girded.


(obsolete) Physically short or truncated


Brief and to the point.
You should give clear, succinct information to the clients.


To make concise; to abridge or summarize.


Compressed into a tiny area.
Unlike general lossless data compression algorithms, succinct data structures retain the ability to use them in-place, without decompressing them first.


Expressing much in a few words; condensed; brief and compacted; - used of style in writing or speaking.
The concise style, which expresseth not enough, but leaves somewhat to be understood.
Where the author is . . . too brief and concise, amplify a little.


(archaic) Wrapped by, or as if by a girdle; closely fitting, wound or wrapped or drawn up tightly.


Expressing much in few words;
A concise explanation


Girded or tucked up; bound; drawn tightly together.
His habit fit for speed succinct.


Compressed into a narrow compass; brief; concise.
Let all your precepts be succinct and clear.
The shortest and most succinct model that ever grasped all the needs and necessities of mankind.


Briefly giving the gist of something;
A short and compendious book
A compact style is brief and pithy
Succinct comparisons
A summary formulation of a wide-ranging subject


Is succinctness about being terse?

Yes, succinctness typically involves being terse and to the point.

Does concise writing avoid redundancy?

Yes, concise writing aims to avoid redundancy and unnecessary information.

Is concise writing lengthy?

Concise writing is brief and does not contain unnecessary words, but it can be somewhat elaborative if required.

Can concise communication have details?

Yes, concise communication can have necessary details, ensuring clarity and comprehension.

Can succinctness be considered a style of communication?

Yes, succinctness can be considered a specific, focused style of communication.

Can succinct communication be elaborate?

Succinct communication is typically not elaborate; it is more condensed and precise.

Can succinct descriptions be elaborate?

Typically, succinct descriptions are not elaborate; they convey the message with minimal words.

Is being concise about being effective?

Yes, concise communication is about being effective and efficient in conveying information.

Can succinct expressions be verbose?

No, succinct expressions are the opposite of verbose; they are compact and to the point.

Does being concise require practice?

Yes, being concise can require practice to maintain clarity while being brief.

Is succinct writing always clear?

Succinct writing aims to be clear but can sometimes be too terse, potentially leading to misunderstanding.

Can concise speech be informative?

Absolutely, concise speech can be very informative while avoiding superfluity.

Is it crucial to maintain balance in concise communication?

Absolutely, maintaining a balance between brevity and clarity is essential in concise communication.

Can a concise message be ambiguous?

Ideally, concise messages are clear, but if crucial information is omitted, they can be ambiguous.

Is succinctness suitable for complex ideas?

Succinctness can effectively convey complex ideas when precision and clarity are maintained.
About Author
Written by
Janet White
Janet White has been an esteemed writer and blogger for Difference Wiki. Holding a Master's degree in Science and Medical Journalism from the prestigious Boston University, she has consistently demonstrated her expertise and passion for her field. When she's not immersed in her work, Janet relishes her time exercising, delving into a good book, and cherishing moments with friends and family.
Edited by
Harlon Moss
Harlon is a seasoned quality moderator and accomplished content writer for Difference Wiki. An alumnus of the prestigious University of California, he earned his degree in Computer Science. Leveraging his academic background, Harlon brings a meticulous and informed perspective to his work, ensuring content accuracy and excellence.

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