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Penetration vs Perspicacity - What's the difference?

penetration | perspicacity | Synonyms |

Penetration is a synonym of perspicacity.

As nouns the difference between penetration and perspicacity

is that penetration is penetration while perspicacity is acute discernment or understanding; insight.




(en noun)
  • The act of penetrating something.
  • Any penetration , however slight, is sufficient to complete the offense.
  • Specifically, the insertion of the penis (or similar object) during sexual intercourse.
  • The act of penetrating a given situation with the mind or faculties; perception, discernment.
  • * 1817 , (Walter Scott), Rob Roy , XVI:
  • my observations of her looks and actions became acutely sharpened, and that to a degree which, notwithstanding my efforts to conceal it, could not escape her penetration .
  • A number or fraction that represents how many cards/decks will be dealt before shuffling, in contrast to the total number of cards/decks in play.
  • Derived terms

    * double penetration * interpenetration




  • Acute discernment or understanding; insight.
  • * 1904 , (Jack London), The Sea-Wolf , ch. 8:
  • "I understand," I said. "The fact is that you have the money." His face brightened. He seemed pleased at my perspicacity .
  • The human faculty or power to mentally grasp or understand clearly.
  • * 1856 , "Selections from the Letters of Robert Southey," The Quarterly Review , vol. 98, p. 458:
  • His very veneration for his father-in-law, combined as it is with a total want of the most ordinary perspicacity , is an additional disqualification.
  • * 1888 , "Review of La suggestion mentale'' by H. Bourru and P. Burot," ''The American Journal of Psychology , vol. 1 no. 3, p. 503:
  • As the former consists in the transmission of psychic states inappreciable to the normal perspicacity or senses, the transfer cannot pass through the medium of intelligence.
  • (obsolete) Keen eyesight.
  • * 1833 , John Harrison Curtis, A Treatise on the Physiology and Diseases of the Eye , London, Longman, p. 138:
  • Attentive consideration of the phenomena of vision has led to the invention of artificial aids by which the sight may be wonderfully strengthened and preserved, and man endowed at once with the perspicacity of the eagle or the minute scrutiny of the insect.


    * * * * "perspicacity" in Cambridge Advanced Learner's Dictionary (Cambridge University Press, 2007) * Oxford English Dictionary , second edition (1989) * Random House Webster's Unabridged Electronic Dictionary (1987-1996)