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

Definition of poignancy

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

Examples of poignancy in a Sentence

there was a poignancy to his wit that often left his targets smarting
Recent Examples on the Web This incontrovertible fact lends a sense of urgency and poignancy to firsthand accounts of how survivors managed to endure and to move on. Alissa Simon, Variety, 2 May 2022 Praised for both its humor and poignancy, the show was an instant success, its December premiere having drawn over 7 million viewers across all platforms (including Hulu) in the first month. New York Times, 11 Apr. 2022 There is some loss of poignancy as a result, however. Heidi Waleson, WSJ, 25 Apr. 2022 But the flip side of such intense poignancy is the relative flimsiness of the supporting characters. Washington Post, 20 Apr. 2022 Directors Daniel Kwan and Daniel Scheinert—collectively known as Daniels—are known for their ability to straddle genres, deftly blending comic absurdity and outré weirdness with moments of gut-wrenching poignancy. Jennifer Ouellette, Ars Technica, 25 Mar. 2022 Instead, go in expecting laughs, poignancy, and, in a subplot involving the CEO’s teen daughter, strong ideas about privileged white people and the dangers wrought by sloppy do-goodism. BostonGlobe.com, 9 July 2021 The poignancy of their burgeoning relationship is the film’s patiently ticking driving force. Jessica Kiang, Variety, 13 Feb. 2022 That simple poignancy about loss and time is there in this stark remembrance’s final images: a succession of photographs of himself and Camillo side by side through the years, in which only Bellocchio keeps aging. Robert Abele, Los Angeles Times, 14 Dec. 2021 See More

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.

First Known Use of poignancy

1680, in the meaning defined at sense 1

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The first known use of poignancy was in 1680

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Last Updated

17 May 2022

Cite this Entry

“Poignancy.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/poignancy. Accessed 26 May. 2022.

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More from Merriam-Webster on poignancy

Nglish: Translation of poignancy for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of poignancy for Arabic Speakers


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