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

Definition of pungency

: the quality or state of being pungent

Keep scrolling for more

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 The oyster sauce lends the dish a rich savoriness without the pungency that can come with seafood. Amber Lee, Bon Appétit, "Adding Oyster Sauce to My Spaghetti Was Probably the Best Thing I’ve Ever Done," 18 Nov. 2020 Crushed coconut, fresh cilantro and lemon juice form a base that gains heat from green chiles and additional pungency from onions and vinegar. Becky Krystal, Washington Post, "Staff picks: 8 condiments we swear by and how to use them," 4 Sep. 2020 Renowned for its bold, spicy flavors — garlic, chilis, the unique pungency of Sichuan pepper — once Orlando’s foodies and media caught wind of it, Taste of Chengdu was a fast-moving train. Amy Drew Thompson, orlandosentinel.com, "Tiger takes Baldwin Park: Taste of Chengdu’s second location set to open," 28 Aug. 2020 In my Turkish-size refrigerator, which is about two-thirds the size of a typical American one, its pungency would cast a garlic glow over anything in proximity. Ruth Terry, Bon Appétit, "There’s No One Way to Make Habichuelas Guisadas—and That’s the Point," 28 Aug. 2020 Garlic chives give the broth a mouth-watering pungency that makes the relatively bland vegetables taste amazing. Soleil Ho, SFChronicle.com, "The best takeout and delivery spots in the South Bay and Peninsula," 30 May 2020 The tomatoes are bright and tangy, while the garlic cloves are melt-away mellowness with very little of the biting pungency of fresh garlic. Paul Stephen, ExpressNews.com, "How to dehydrate fruits and vegetables at home in your oven," 6 May 2020 The sneaky kicker is Brebirousse d’Argental, a bloomy rind Lyonnaise sheep’s milk cheese with restrained pungency and otherworldly creaminess. Julia Wick, Los Angeles Times, "Newsletter: Essential California Week in Review: Stop vaping now," 28 Sep. 2019 Earth smells and the pungency of privet and balsam were still acute at this hour, unmingled; the shadows were as bold as in a child’s picture book; swifts and house martins tracked across the pale sky overhead, shrilling in thrilled anticipation. Tessa Hadley, The New Yorker, "The Bunty Club," 21 Oct. 2019

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.

See More

First Known Use of pungency

1649, in the meaning defined above

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about pungency

Time Traveler for pungency

Time Traveler

The first known use of pungency was in 1649

See more words from the same year

Statistics for pungency

Last Updated

10 Jan 2021

Cite this Entry

“Pungency.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/pungency. Accessed 19 Jan. 2021.

Keep scrolling for more

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

More from Merriam-Webster on pungency

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for pungency

Nglish: Translation of pungency for Spanish Speakers

Comments on pungency

What made you want to look up pungency? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


Test Your Vocabulary

Words of Snow and Ice Quiz

  • image1037863653
  • Which of the following refers to thin, bending ice, or to the act of running over such ice?
True or False

Test your knowledge - and maybe learn something along the way.


Anagram puzzles meet word search.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!