Definition of piquant
1 : engagingly provocative; also : having a lively arch charm
2 : agreeably stimulating to the taste; especially : spicy
piquant was our Word of the Day on 04/16/2012. Hear the podcast!
Examples of piquant in a Sentence
piquant vegetables seasoned with pepper
He served the fish with a piquant sauce.
a piquant bit of gossip
Recent Examples of piquant from the Web
The good-looking writer will always be welcome on television and popular at parties; her story will seem more piquant, her emotional depths deeper.
His piquant pronouncements and observations of the presidential race in 2008 were often captured on YouTube and became popular fodder on political blogs.
These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'piquant'. Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.
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 and Etymology of piquant
Middle French, from present participle of piquer
First Known Use: 1616See Words from the same year
Synonym Discussion of piquant
PIQUANT Defined for English Language Learners
Definition of piquant for English Language Learners
: having a pleasant, spicy taste
: interesting and exciting
Seen and Heard
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