pungent

adjective
pun·​gent | \ˈpən-jənt \

Definition of pungent 

1 : sharply painful

2 : having a stiff and sharp point pungent leaves

3a : marked by a sharp incisive quality : caustic a pungent critic pungent language

b : being sharp and to the point

4a : causing a sharp or irritating sensation especially : acrid

b : having an intense flavor or odor a pungent chili

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Other Words from pungent

pungently adverb

Synonyms & Antonyms for pungent

Synonyms

nippy, sharp, strong, tangy

Antonyms

bland, mild, smooth

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Choose the Right Synonym for pungent

pungent, piquant, poignant, racy mean sharp and stimulating to the mind or the senses. pungent implies a sharp, stinging, or biting quality especially of odors. a cheese with a pungent odor piquant suggests a power to whet the appetite or interest through tartness or mild pungency. a piquant sauce poignant suggests something is sharply or piercingly effective in stirring one's emotions. felt a poignant sense of loss racy implies having a strongly characteristic natural quality fresh and unimpaired. spontaneous, racy prose

Examples of pungent in a Sentence

The left has often complained that what it needs isn't polite speech, but voices as pungent as those on the right. — Jennifer Senior, New York Times Book Review, 24 Sept. 2006 I remember the enormous size of that fire and the pungent smell of smoke from the burning chaparral as the flames raced up the slope toward our house. — Tim White, Curious Minds, 2004 Maybe what seems pungent to the locals only becomes alarming when sniffed through a giant Western proboscis, but there are some odors in China that make a visit to Bhopal seem like a picnic downwind from the Arpege factory. — P. J. O'Rourke, Holidays in Hell, 1988 a play with pungent dialogue a pungent satire of current politics
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Recent Examples on the Web

The pungent snails contribute considerably to the pleasure of the brouillade. Tamar Adler, Vogue, "Why Pastured Eggs Are the Perfect Food," 13 Sep. 2018 There’s a pungent cloud of hype and hope around probiotics—and researchers have long tried to clear the air about what the bowel-blasting products can ( and mostly can’t) do. Beth Mole, Ars Technica, "Probiotics: If you don’t just poop them out, they may muck up your guts," 8 Sep. 2018 Use a lemon zester to grate a few threads right off the root to make a pungent garnish for grilled fish, especially salmon and fresh tuna. The Editors, Good Housekeeping, "How to Grow and Prepare Horseradish Straight From Your Garden," 27 July 2018 Residents also complain about the animals’ pungent smell. Candace Taylor, WSJ, "A Desert Home Design Inspired by Paperweights," 8 Nov. 2018 The wood gave off a pungent, earthy smell and the wind moaned through the tall oaks and pines. Roy Berendson, Popular Mechanics, "The Ultimate Guide To Cutting and Splitting Firewood," 28 Sep. 2018 And everybody will catch the pungent scent of a sequel in the wind. Ron Charles, chicagotribune.com, "Jake Tapper's new thriller blows the lid off corruption in Washington," 24 Apr. 2018 Sufferers report smelling hydrogen sulfide (rotten eggs), bad perfume, garbage, a gas leak, wet dog, pungent body odor or spoiled fish or feces. NBC News, "Phantom smells may be a sign of trouble," 10 July 2018 Hungarian paprika traditionally comes in eight different flavor profiles, ranging from mild and bright red to spicy, pungent, and pale orange. Alex Delany, Bon Appetit, "All the Different Types of Paprika and How to Use Them," 19 Jan. 2018

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

1598, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for pungent

Latin pungent-, pungens, present participle of pungere to prick, sting; akin to Latin pugnus fist, pugnare to fight, Greek pygmē fist

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Dictionary Entries near pungent

pungapung

pungence

pungency

pungent

pungey

pungi

pungitive

Statistics for pungent

Last Updated

11 Dec 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for pungent

The first known use of pungent was in 1598

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More Definitions for pungent

pungent

adjective

English Language Learners Definition of pungent

: having a strong, sharp taste or smell

: having a strong effect on the mind because of being clever and direct

pungent

adjective
pun·​gent | \ˈpən-jənt \

Kids Definition of pungent

: having a strong or sharp taste or smell a pungent odor

Other Words from pungent

pungently adverb

pungent

adjective
pun·​gent | \-jənt \

Medical Definition of pungent 

: causing a sharp or irritating sensation especially : acrid

Other Words from pungent

pungently adverb

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More from Merriam-Webster on pungent

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for pungent

Spanish Central: Translation of pungent

Nglish: Translation of pungent for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of pungent for Arabic Speakers

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