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Definition of poignant


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poign·ant  audio  (poinynt) KEY 

ADJECTIVE:
    1. Physically painful: "Keen, poignant agonies seemed to shoot from his neck downward" (Ambrose Bierce).
    2. Keenly distressing to the mind or feelings: poignant anxiety.
    3. Profoundly moving; touching: a poignant memory. See Synonyms at moving.
  1. Piercing; incisive: poignant criticism.
    1. Neat, skillful, and to the point: poignant illustrations supplementing the text.
    2. Astute and pertinent; relevant: poignant suggestions.
  2. Agreeably intense or stimulating: poignant delight.
  3. Archaic
    1. Sharp or sour to the taste; piquant.
    2. Sharp or pungent to the smell.

ETYMOLOGY:
Middle English poinaunt, from Old French poignant, present participle of poindre, to prick, from Latin pungere; see peuk- in Indo-European roots

OTHER FORMS:
poignance or poignan·cy(Noun), poignant·ly(Adverb)


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