"concise, abrupt," 1580s, literally "of or pertaining to the region around ancient Sparta in Greece, probably via Latin Laconicus "of Laconia," from Greek Lakonikos "Laconian, of Laconia," adjective from Lakon "person from Lakonia," the district around Sparta in southern Greece in ancient times, whose inhabitants famously cultivated the skill of saying much in few words. When Philip of Macedon threatened them with, "If I enter Laconia, I will raze Sparta to the ground," the Spartans' reply was, "If." An earlier form was laconical (1570s). Related: Laconically.
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