adjective poi·gnant \ˈpi-nyənt sometimes ˈpi(g)-nənt\

: causing a strong feeling of sadness

Full Definition of POIGNANT

:  pungently pervasive <a poignant perfume>
a (1) :  painfully affecting the feelings :  piercing (2) :  deeply affecting :  touching
b :  designed to make an impression :  cutting <poignant satire>
a :  pleasurably stimulating
b :  being to the point :  apt
poi·gnant·ly adverb

Examples of POIGNANT

  1. The photograph was a poignant reminder of her childhood.
  2. <a poignant story of a love affair that ends in tragedy>
  3. … this movie isn't a soft-pedaled, poignant tale of addiction and recovery—it's just about the addiction. —David Crowley, Vibe, June 2001

Origin of POIGNANT

Middle English poynaunt, from Anglo-French poinant, poignant, present participle of poindre to prick, sting, from Latin pungere — more at pungent
First Known Use: 14th century


Next Word in the Dictionary: poignardPrevious Word in the Dictionary: poignancyAll Words Near: poignant
May 27, 2015
riot act Hear it
a vigorous reprimand or warning
Take a 3-minute break and test your skills!
How to use a word that (literally) drives some people nuts.
Test your vocab with our fun, fast game
Ailurophobia, and 9 other unusual fears