poi·​gnance | \ ˈpȯi-nyən(t)s How to pronounce poignance (audio) , sometimes ˈpȯi(g)-nən(t)s \

Definition of poignance

Keep scrolling for more

Examples of poignance in a Sentence

there's a mean-spirited poignance to the novel's satiric portrait of Hollywood
Recent Examples on the Web The talented team of actors, who recorded the play over Zoom, employ a variety of emotions and accents that add realism and poignance to the play. Pam Kragen, San Diego Union-Tribune, "Review: Streaming presidents and love stories keeping San Diego theater fans busy," 26 Oct. 2020 Maya and Anna, who are played with a rare poignance by the show’s thirtysomething co-creators Maya Erskine and Anna Konkle, are B.F.F.s who are perennial outsiders. Naomi Fry, The New Yorker, "The Brilliant Awkwardness of “Pen15”," 28 Sep. 2020 There is an unexpected poignance, too, to text that has not yet been sent, still available for revision or, perhaps, deletion. Naomi Fry, The New Yorker, "The Photographer Peeking at Your Phone," 3 Sep. 2020 The visual bard of American solitude—not loneliness, a maudlin projection—speaks to our isolated states these days with fortuitous poignance. Peter Schjeldahl, The New Yorker, "Edward Hopper and American Solitude," 1 June 2020 The poignance of these images have been peaceful counterpoints to the rage sweeping across the country. Harry Bruinius, The Christian Science Monitor, "The promise – and limits – of police taking a knee," 5 June 2020 There is an unexpected poignance to all this repetition. Alex Shephard, The New Republic, "The End of The Trip," 19 May 2020 Since Sulli’s passing, the song’s looming dread has only magnified, but so has the poignance of its bridge. Billboard Staff, Billboard, "The 100 Greatest K-Pop Songs of the 2010s: Staff List," 25 Nov. 2019 Raylan’s eternal opposite number is Boyd Crowder, a local boy gone hysterically bad whom Walton Goggins played with joyful gusto and shades of poignance. Darren Franich, EW.com, "The best TV shows of the decade," 5 Dec. 2019

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'poignance.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

See More

First Known Use of poignance

circa 1683, in the meaning defined above

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about poignance

Time Traveler for poignance

Time Traveler

The first known use of poignance was circa 1683

See more words from the same year

Statistics for poignance

Cite this Entry

“Poignance.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/poignance. Accessed 1 Mar. 2021.

Style: MLA
MLA Chicago APA Merriam-Webster

More from Merriam-Webster on poignance

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for poignance

Comments on poignance

What made you want to look up poignance? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


Test Your Vocabulary

February 2021 Words of the Day Quiz

  • squirrel in winter
  • Which is a synonym of perdure?
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?


Anagram puzzles meet word search.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!