[ adjective ] having or demonstrating ability to recognize or draw fine distinctions


"an acute observer of politics and politicians" "incisive comments" "icy knifelike reasoning" "as sharp and incisive as the stroke of a fang" "penetrating insight"

Used in print

(Robert E. Lane, The Liberties of Wit: Humanism, Critici...)

William_Wimsatt and Cleanth_Brooks , it seems to me , have a penetrating insight into the way in_which this control is effected : `` For if we say poetry is to talk of beauty and love ( and yet not aim at exciting erotic emotion or even an emotion of Platonic esteem ) and if it is to talk of anger and murder ( and yet not aim at arousing anger and indignation ) - then it may be that the poetic way of dealing with these emotions will not be any kind of intensification , compounding , or magnification , or any direct assault upon the affections at_all .

(Public Papers of the Presidents of the U.S. D. D....)

These examples underscore the importance of even more searching evaluations of new major development programs and even more penetrating and far ranging analyses of the potentialities of future technology .

Related terms


[ adjective ] tending to penetrate; having the power of entering or piercing




"a toxic penetrative spray applied to the surface" "a cold penetrating wind" "a penetrating odor"

Related terms