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piquant

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adjective pi·quant \ˈpē-kənt, -ˌkänt; ˈpi-kwənt\

Simple Definition of piquant

  • : having a pleasant, spicy taste

  • : interesting and exciting

Source: Merriam-Webster's Learner's Dictionary

Full Definition of piquant

  1. 1 :  engagingly provocative; also :  having a lively arch charm

  2. 2 :  agreeably stimulating to the palate; especially :  spicy

piquantly adverb
piquantness noun

Examples of piquant in a sentence

  1. piquant vegetables seasoned with pepper

  2. He served the fish with a piquant sauce.

  3. a piquant bit of gossip



Did You Know?

Piquant flavors "sting" the tongue and piquant words "prick" the intellect, arousing interest. These varying senses reflect the etymology of the word piquant, which first appeared in English in the 17th century and which derives from the Middle French verb piquer, meaning "to sting" or "to prick." Though first used to describe foods with spicy flavors, the word is now often used to describe things that are spicy in other ways, such as engaging conversation. Have we piqued your curiosity about another piquer offspring? If you’ve already guessed that the verb pique, meaning "to offend" or "to arouse by provocation," comes from piquer, too, you’ve got a sharp mind.

Origin of piquant

Middle French, from present participle of piquer


First Known Use: 1616

Synonym Discussion of piquant

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>.


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