adjective Etymology: Latin pungent-, pungens, present participle of pungere to prick, sting; akin to Latin pugnus fist, pugnare to fight, Greek pygmē fist Date: 1597 1. sharply painful 2. having a stiff and sharp point <
pungent leaves
3. a. marked by a sharp incisive quality ; caustic <
a pungent critic
pungent language
b. being sharp and to the point 4. a. causing a sharp or irritating sensation; especially acrid b. having an intense flavor or odor <
a pungent chili
pungently adverb Synonyms: pungent, piquant, poignant, racy mean sharp and stimulating to the mind or the senses. pungent implies a sharp, stinging, or biting quality especially of odors <
a cheese with a pungent odor
. piquant suggests a power to whet the appetite or interest through tartness or mild pungency <
a piquant sauce
. poignant suggests something is sharply or piercingly effective in stirring one's emotions <
felt a poignant sense of loss
. racy implies having a strongly characteristic natural quality fresh and unimpaired <
spontaneous, racy prose

New Collegiate Dictionary. 2001.

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Look at other dictionaries:

  • Pungent — Pun gent, a. [L. pungens, entis, p. pr. of pungere, punctum, to prick. Cf. {Compunction}, {Expunge}, {Poignant}, {Point}, n., {Puncheon}, {Punctilio}, {Punt}, v. t.] 1. Causing a sharp sensation, as of the taste, smell, or feelings; pricking;… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • pungent — pungent, piquant, poignant, racy, spicy, snappy are comparable when they mean characterized by sharpness, zest, and a piercing or gripping quality. Pungent applies especially to a sharp, piercing, stinging, biting, or penetrating quality,… …   New Dictionary of Synonyms

  • pungent — [adj1] highly flavored acid, acrid, aromatic, bitter, effluvious, hot, nosey*, odoriferous, peppery, piquant, poignant, racy, rich, salty, seasoned, sharp, snappy, sour, spicy, stinging, stinking*, strong, tangy, tart, whiffy*, zesty; concept 613 …   New thesaurus

  • pungent — [pun′jənt] adj. [L pungens, prp. of pungere, to prick, puncture: see POINT] 1. producing a sharp sensation of taste and smell; acrid 2. sharp and piercing to the mind; poignant; painful 3. sharply penetrating; expressive; biting [pungent… …   English World dictionary

  • pungent — index bitter (acrid tasting), caustic, incisive, mordacious, trenchant Burton s Legal Thesaurus. William C. Burton. 2006 …   Law dictionary

  • pungent — 1590s, sharp, poignant (of pain or grief), from L. pungentem (nom. pungens), prp. of pungere to prick, pierce, sting, related to pugnus fist (see PUGNACIOUS (Cf. pugnacious)). Meaning having powerful odor or taste first recorded 1660s. Literal… …   Etymology dictionary

  • pungent — ► ADJECTIVE 1) having a sharply strong taste or smell. 2) (of remarks or humour) sharp and caustic. DERIVATIVES pungency noun pungently adverb. ORIGIN from Latin pungere to prick …   English terms dictionary

  • pungent — [[t]pʌ̱nʤ(ə)nt[/t]] 1) ADJ GRADED Something that is pungent has a strong, sharp smell or taste which is often so strong that it is unpleasant. The more herbs you use, the more pungent the sauce will be. ...the pungent smell of burning rubber. Syn …   English dictionary

  • pungent — pun|gent [ˈpʌndʒənt] adj [Date: 1500 1600; : Latin; Origin: , present participle of pungere to prick, sting ] 1.) having a strong taste or smell pungent smell/aroma/odour etc ▪ the pungent odour of garlic 2.) formal pungent speech or writing is… …   Dictionary of contemporary English

  • pungent — adjective 1 a pungent taste or smell is strong and sharp: the pungent aroma of garlic 2 pungent remarks or writing criticize something in a very direct and clever way: a few typically pungent remarks from Senator Moynihan pungently adverb… …   Longman dictionary of contemporary English

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