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

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 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

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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Time Traveler for poignancy

The first known use of poignancy was in 1680

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a secret plot to overthrow a government

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