poi·​gnan·​cy | \ˈpȯi-nyən(t)-sē, sometimes ˈpȯi(g)-nən(t)-sē \
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

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 Set mostly in Brooklyn, the nine stories in this début collection are full of subtle poignancy. Naomi Fry, The New Yorker, "Briefly Noted," 24 June 2018 That the statement is addressed to Knausgaard’s living fourth child undercuts the drama of this assertion, but its poignancy remains. New York Times, "In Knausgaard’s ‘Spring,’ a Man Considers How Best to Help His Sick Wife," 6 July 2018 The bloody day painted the band's set with pain and poignancy. Craig Hlavaty, Houston Chronicle, "The Dave Matthews Band returned to the Cynthia Woods Mitchell Pavilion stage on Friday night," 19 May 2018 Everclear Ubiquitous radio play wore out this song’s welcome, but it’s poignancy returns when it isn’t being played once every 37 minutes. Andy Staples, SI.com, "The Chaos and Consequences of the BCS, 20 Years After Its Inaugural Season," 9 July 2018 Oftentimes, these posts are timed to coincide with a subject's date of birth, which only adds to the poignancy. Mark Holgate, Vogue, "The AIDS Memorial On Instagram Has Become A Must Read Remembrance Of Those We've Lost," 28 June 2018 There’s also a certain poignancy to the notebook from Auntie Helen’s Fluff’n’Fold. John Wilkens, sandiegouniontribune.com, "New History Center exhibit traces stories of struggle and progress in LGBT community," 8 July 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

18 Oct 2018

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Time Traveler for poignancy

The first known use of poignancy was in 1680

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Comments on poignancy

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playful or foolish behavior

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