pun·​gen·​cy | \ ˈpən-jən(t)-sē How to pronounce pungency (audio) \

Definition of pungency

: the quality or state of being pungent

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Examples of pungency in a Sentence

the pungency of the vinegar gives the salad dressing the kick that it needs theatergoers have long delighted in the pungency and wit of the play's dialogue
Recent Examples on the Web And the focus on a real person over a period of years certainly adds pungency to the debate. Stephen Farber, The Hollywood Reporter, "'Sing Me a Song': Film Review," 8 Nov. 2019 Deirdre Carson Ciaran Carson, whose poetry and prose captured the pungency, tensions and rich heritage of Northern Ireland, especially his native Belfast, died in that city on Oct. 6. Neil Genzlinger, New York Times, "Ciaran Carson, Versatile Belfast Poet, Is Dead at 70," 11 Oct. 2019 Both the bratwurst and the wiener, reminiscent of a hot dog that spent a semester abroad, have a pleasantly snappy casing and a peppery pungency. Washington Post, "Just in time for Oktoberfest: A ‘chic’ Ballston beer hall for the masses," 20 Sep. 2019 But none of them has the musky pungency that makes the herb such a hallmark of Peruvian cooking. Gustavo Arellanostaff Writer, Los Angeles Times, "At Pikoh, Peruvian superstar chef Ricardo Zarate holds back his fastball for a West L.A. crowd," 24 July 2019 The highveld mole rat is immune to the pungency of mustard, radishes, and wasabi. Rafil Kroll-zaidi, Harper's magazine, "Findings," 22 July 2019 Don’t overlook Bilavarn’s papaya salad, a crisp, fragrant muddle underscored with the pungency of shrimp paste and fish sauce. Patricia Escárcega, latimes.com, "Patricia Escárcega’s five favorite restaurants that she reviewed this year (so far)," 3 July 2019 Its pungency would smother the flavors of the wine. David Tanis, New York Times, "A Crowd-Pleaser With the Right Stuff," 22 June 2018 Recently the Carter Center’s office in Sarh, a provincial capital in southern Chad, filled with an aquatic pungency as Dr. Eberhard and Mr. Cleveland gutted and skinned 13 frogs. New York Times, "Nearly Eradicated in Humans, the Guinea Worm Finds New Victims: Dogs," 18 June 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'pungency.' 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 pungency

1649, in the meaning defined above

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Time Traveler for pungency

Time Traveler

The first known use of pungency was in 1649

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Statistics for pungency

Last Updated

26 Nov 2019

Cite this Entry

“Pungency.” The Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster Inc., https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/pungency. Accessed 11 December 2019.

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More Definitions for pungency


pun·​gen·​cy | \ ˈpən-jən-sē How to pronounce pungency (audio) \
plural pungencies

Medical Definition of pungency

: the quality or state of being pungent

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More from Merriam-Webster on pungency

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for pungency

Spanish Central: Translation of pungency

Nglish: Translation of pungency for Spanish Speakers

Comments on pungency

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heavy with or as if with moisture

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