Definition of poignant
- a poignant perfume
- poignant satire
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The photograph was a poignant reminder of her childhood.
a poignant story of a love affair that ends in tragedy
These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'poignant.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.
Poignant comes to us from French, and before that from Latin-specifically, the Latin verb pungere, meaning "to prick or sting." Several other common English words derive from pungere, including pungent, which can refer, among other things, to a "sharp" odor. The influence of pungere can also be seen in puncture, as well as punctual, which originally meant simply "of or relating to a point." Even compunction and expunge come from this pointedly relevant Latin word.
What made you want to look up poignant? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).
having a quality expressive of sadness
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