pungent

adjective
pun·​gent | \ ˈpən-jənt How to pronounce pungent (audio) \

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

Antonyms

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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 trio separately disrupted legislative meetings by splashing pungent liquids and other items on two occasions. NBC News, "Three former pro-democracy lawmakers arrested in Hong Kong for releasing 'pungent liquid'," 18 Nov. 2020 Our last stop will be in South India for a fiery and pungent serving of aloo masala. Paul Stephen, ExpressNews.com, "5 global mashed potato dishes to star in 2020’s Thanksgiving meal," 18 Nov. 2020 Their bright petals and pungent aroma are meant to guide the souls of the dead back home. Emily Vanschmus, Better Homes & Gardens, "What Is Day of the Dead? Here's What to Know About the Holiday," 22 Oct. 2020 Filipino food beckons from the sizzling sound of a hot plate of sisig to the pungent aroma of simmering adobo. Priscilla Totiyapungprasert, The Arizona Republic, "Looking for Filipino food in metro Phoenix? Here are 16 restaurants, bakeries and pop-ups," 19 Oct. 2020 Many are old men in farmers’ blue cotton jackets and caps, puffing on pungent cheroots or cigarettes in sturdy bamboo armchairs. The Economist, "For the 100th Chaguan column, customers at a chaguan muse on life," 14 Nov. 2020 Wine is a grape’s most common destiny, and fresh, ripe grapes are an ideal foil for creamy, salty or pungent cheese. Washington Post, "Roast, stew or poach grapes in 8 recipes fit for fall," 14 Oct. 2020 Just use a food processor to create a five-ingredient sauce laden with coconut, chilies, and garlic for a pungent and spicy accompaniment to shrimp. Sunset Staff, Sunset Magazine, "25 Shrimp Recipes We’d Krill For (Sorry for the Pun, but They’re That Good)," 9 Oct. 2020 For many cooks, garlic powder — slightly sweeter and less pungent than fresh — builds on the familiar flavors of caramelized meat so much that the two are intertwined. oregonlive, "Garlic powder is having a pandemic moment, thanks to its efficiency and ease of use," 6 Oct. 2020

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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Time Traveler for pungent

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The first known use of pungent was in 1598

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Last Updated

30 Nov 2020

Cite this Entry

“Pungent.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/pungent. Accessed 4 Dec. 2020.

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More Definitions for pungent

pungent

adjective
How to pronounce pungent (audio)

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 How to pronounce pungent (audio) \

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 How to pronounce pungent (audio) \

Medical Definition of pungent

: causing a sharp or irritating sensation especially : acrid

Other Words from pungent

pungently adverb

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Comments on pungent

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