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Related to poignance: poignant


a. Arousing deep emotion, especially pity or sorrow; touching: a poignant memory; a poignant story. See Synonyms at moving.
b. Keenly distressing to the mind or feelings: poignant anxiety.
c. Physically painful: "Keen, poignant agonies seemed to shoot from his neck downward" (Ambrose Bierce).
2. Piercing; incisive: poignant criticism.
3. Agreeably intense or stimulating: "It was a poignant delight to breathe the keen air" (Joseph A. Altsheler).
4. Archaic
a. Sharp or sour to the taste; piquant.
b. 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 roots.]

poign′ance, poign′an·cy n.
poign′ant·ly adv.
American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition. Copyright © 2016 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
ThesaurusAntonymsRelated WordsSynonymsLegend:
Noun1.poignance - a state of deeply felt distress or sorrow; "a moment of extraordinary poignancy"
sorrowfulness, sadness, sorrow - the state of being sad; "she tired of his perpetual sadness"
Based on WordNet 3.0, Farlex clipart collection. © 2003-2012 Princeton University, Farlex Inc.
References in periodicals archive ?
The PPP then on survived in the province of Sindh alone because of emotional attachment of the indigenous people of Sindh with the Bhutto name and the poignance surrounding Benazir's assassination.
From his childhood in his parents' kitchen, he went on to spend his adulthood in commercial kitchens: "So as a space and a place, it's always had a real significance and poignance - more so than the other rooms in one's house."
The tenderness and poignance often imparted in his familial pairings and groupings is balanced by resolute recognition of socioeconomic ills as reflected in his recreations of poor man's shanties on stilts and general poverty.
In his brief, deftly told in Radio Sunrise, the author depicts his often-hapless protagonist's s3xual mishaps and political travails on a journey to his hometown with a unique blend of humour and poignance. (He's) an intriguing and accomplished new novelist.'
This terrible mystery of human behaviour takes on particular poignance in the wake of suicides by high-profile and much-beloved celebrities Kate Spade and Anthony Bourdain.
Such a short month to hold so many long days of poignance.
This year marks the 50th since MLK's killing, and it has been commemorated with especial poignance in the US, given the resurgence of racial politics and the growing momentum of the Black Lives Matter movement.
There are lots of laughs but there is poignance too.
The writer's own sense of humour and wit, however, do not desensitise him to recording encounters marked by a quiet poignance: the elderly, limpid-eyed Darshan Singh shuffling after him just to say "I too have seen Lahore", or Gurdial Singh who speaks so passionately and yearningly about the Lahore of his youth and whose 'feeling and warmth', notes Rashid, 'brought tears to my eyes'.
The following depiction of her protest, in particular, has been widely adopted as a profile picture, emphasizing its poignance for many in Iran.
The divide is obvious: other than sectarian which forms a constant backdrop, the religious-non-religious divide has gained even greater poignance - those who were not religious enough in belief or practice hardly ever voiced against those who followed or professed religion; civ-mil divide in the last three decades has entrenched; the poor vs.