poi·​gnan·​cy | \ ˈpȯi-nyən(t)-sē, sometimes ˈpȯi(g)-nən(t)-sē How to pronounce poignancy (audio) \
plural poignancies

Definition of poignancy

1 : the quality or state of being poignant
2 : an instance of poignancy

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Examples of poignancy in a Sentence

there was a poignancy to his wit that often left his targets smarting

Recent Examples on the Web

Corden was credited with handling the situation with poignancy and positivity. Washington Post, "Tony Awards host James Corden hopes audience will find ‘joy’," 7 June 2019 Adding to the poignancy of the scene was the knowledge that the Greatest Generation is slowly fading into posterity. Matthew Continetti, National Review, "Trump’s Great D-Day Speech," 6 June 2019 When the old man finally mans up to his failings, the movie succeeds with special poignancy. Joe Morgenstern, WSJ, "‘The Mule’ Review: From Horticulture to Drug Culture," 13 Dec. 2018 There’s an authentic poignancy to Tami and Richard’s connection, buoyed by the actors’ sweet, unforced chemistry. Justin Chang, latimes.com, "Shailene Woodley's performance powers the evasive shipwreck-survival drama 'Adrift'," 31 May 2018 That this critical moment of truth comes in the midst of a playoff run that eluded him in his glittering prime just adds an extra level of poignancy to the unsettling dynamic. Larry Stone, The Seattle Times, "Mariners didn’t trade for a starting pitcher, putting Felix Hernandez’s next start under microscope," 31 July 2018 None of this is new, but Mr. Sasse’s experience as a senator in a time of hyperpartisanship gives his analysis a special poignancy. Barton Swaim, WSJ, "Politics Books: Rootless, Isolated and Manipulated by Technology," 19 Oct. 2018 Denis and the magnetic Binoche convey Isabelle’s yearning sensuality and disappointment with perception, humor, and poignancy. Loren King, BostonGlobe.com, "At the MFA, it’s time for the Boston French Film Festival," 5 July 2018 Tina Fey: Tony Nominee? Fans of all things fetch will be delighted by Fey's book, which preserves the blend of acid humor and poignancy in her script from the original 2004 movie. Rebecca Milzoff, Billboard, "5 Takeaways From Broadway's 'Mean Girls' Musical," 9 Apr. 2018

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

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First Known Use of poignancy

1680, in the meaning defined at sense 1

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Statistics for poignancy

Last Updated

14 Jun 2019

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Time Traveler for poignancy

The first known use of poignancy was in 1680

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incapable of being surmounted or overcome

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