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 Kapha dosha is associated with water, so those with this dominant dosha should balance it out with pungent, bitter, and astringent foods. Marisa Cohen, Good Housekeeping, "What Is Ayurvedic Eating? Principles to Know Before Eating for Your Dosha," 6 Oct. 2020 The scent of this lemon eucalyptus spray was polarizing for our testers: One loved the herby tones and the other was left coughing because of its strong and pungent smell. Kai Burkhardt, CNN Underscored, "The best bug sprays of 2020," 20 Aug. 2020 Some enthusiasts say hardneck garlic has a richer, more pungent flavor than non-flowering types, but not all gardeners agree, Bubl said. oregonlive, "It’s time to plant garlic in Oregon; here’s what you need to know," 28 Sep. 2020 Calasso is such a fine storyteller, his ideas and observations so pungent. Tim Parks, The New York Review of Books, "The Writer–Translator Equation," 21 Sep. 2020 Unlike its pungent presence in soaps, lavender benefits from restraint when used in making dessert. SFChronicle.com, "Recipes for summer’s bounty: Desserts," 17 Sep. 2020 Those messages can be warnings, like when an ambulance screams past or a pungent smell wafts by. Jamie Kiffel-alcheh, National Geographic, "Tricks to settle your fidgeters, wigglers, and fingernail biters," 9 Sep. 2020 But one of his other hobbies, buying and dining on pungent cheeses, proved to be too much at times. Edward Lee, baltimoresun.com, "Dr. Mark O. Robbins, a physicist and Johns Hopkins professor, dies," 6 Sep. 2020 Larsen waves his hands around exuberantly, sends them off with a pair of pungent fish, and retreats back to his cash register. Leslie Pariseau, Saveur, "The Shipwrecked Sailors & the Wandering Cod," 19 Sep. 2016

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

Time Traveler

The first known use of pungent was in 1598

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Last Updated

13 Oct 2020

Cite this Entry

“Pungent.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/pungent. Accessed 24 Oct. 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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