nt) KEY ADJECTIVE:
- Physically painful: "Keen, poignant agonies seemed to shoot from his neck downward" (Ambrose Bierce).
- Keenly distressing to the mind or feelings: poignant anxiety.
- Profoundly moving; touching: a poignant memory. See Synonyms at moving.
- Piercing; incisive: poignant criticism.
- Neat, skillful, and to the point: poignant illustrations supplementing the text.
- Astute and pertinent; relevant: poignant suggestions.
- Agreeably intense or stimulating: poignant delight.
- Sharp or sour to the taste; piquant.
- Sharp or pungent to the smell.
Middle English poinaunt
, from Old French poignant
, present participle of poindre
, to prick
, from Latin pungere
; see peuk-
in Indo-European rootsOTHER FORMS:poignance