The Collaborative International Dictionary of English v.0.48:
Terse \Terse\, a. [Compar. Terser; superl. Tersest.] [L.
tersus, p. p. of tergere to rub or wipe off.]
1. Appearing as if rubbed or wiped off; rubbed; smooth;
Many stones, . . . although terse and smooth, have
not this power attractive. --Sir T.
2. Refined; accomplished; -- said of persons. [R. & Obs.]
"Your polite and terse gallants." --Massinger.
3. Elegantly concise; free of superfluous words; polished to
smoothness; as, terse language; a terse style.
Terse, luminous, and dignified eloquence.
A poet, too, was there, whose verse
Was tender, musical, and terse. --Longfellow.
Syn: Neat; concise; compact.
Usage: Terse, Concise. Terse was defined by Johnson
"cleanly written", i. e., free from blemishes, neat or
smooth. Its present sense is "free from excrescences,"
and hence, compact, with smoothness, grace, or
elegance, as in the following lones of Whitehead:
"In eight terse lines has Phaedrus told
(So frugal were the bards of old)
A tale of goats; and closed with grace,
Plan, moral, all, in that short space."
[1913 Webster] It differs from concise in not
implying, perhaps, quite as much condensation, but
chiefly in the additional idea of "grace or elegance."
[1913 Webster] -- Terse"ly, adv. -- Terse"ness, n.