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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).
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.
1. sharply distressing or painful to the feelings
2. to the point; cutting or piercing: poignant wit.
3. keen or pertinent in mental appeal: a poignant subject.
4. pungent in smell
[C14: from Old French, from Latin pungens pricking, from pungere to sting, pierce, grieve]
ˈpoignancy, ˈpoignance n
poign•ant(ˈpɔɪn yənt, ˈpɔɪ nənt)
1. keenly distressing to the feelings.
2. affecting the emotions: a poignant scene.
3. keen or strong in appeal; sharp; pointed: a subject of poignant interest.
[1350–1400; Middle English poynaunt < Middle French poignant, present participle of poindre < Latin pungere to prick, pierce]
Switch to new thesaurus
|Adj.||1.||poignant - arousing affect; "the homecoming of the released hostages was an affecting scene"; "poignant grief cannot endure forever"; "his gratitude was simple and touching"|
moving - arousing or capable of arousing deep emotion; "she laid her case of destitution before him in a very moving letter"- N. Hawthorne
|2.||poignant - keenly distressing to the mind or feelings; "poignant anxiety"|
painful - causing physical or psychological pain; "worked with painful slowness"