adjective pun·gent \ˈpən-jənt\

: having a strong, sharp taste or smell

: having a strong effect on the mind because of being clever and direct

Full Definition of PUNGENT

:  sharply painful
:  having a stiff and sharp point <pungent leaves>
a :  marked by a sharp incisive quality :  caustic <a pungent critic> <pungent language>
b :  being sharp and to the point
a :  causing a sharp or irritating sensation; especially :  acrid
b :  having an intense flavor or odor <a pungent chili>
pun·gent·ly adverb

Examples of PUNGENT

  1. a play with pungent dialogue
  2. a pungent satire of current politics
  3. The left has often complained that what it needs isn't polite speech, but voices as pungent as those on the right. —Jennifer Senior, New York Times Book Review, 24 Sept. 2006

Origin of PUNGENT

Latin pungent-, pungens, present participle of pungere to prick, sting; akin to Latin pugnus fist, pugnare to fight, Greek pygmē fist
First Known Use: 1597

Synonym Discussion of PUNGENT

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>.


adjective pun·gent \-jənt\   (Medical Dictionary)

Medical Definition of PUNGENT

:  causing a sharp or irritating sensation; especially :  acrid
pun·gent·ly adverb


Next Word in the Dictionary: pungeyPrevious Word in the Dictionary: pungencyAll Words Near: pungent
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