trenchant

play
adjective tren·chant \-chənt\

Definition of trenchant

  1. 1 :  keen, sharp

  2. 2 :  vigorously effective and articulate a trenchant analysis; also :  caustic trenchant remarks

  3. 3a :  sharply perceptive :  penetrating a trenchant view of current conditionsb :  clear-cut, distinct the trenchant divisions between right and wrong — Edith Wharton

trenchantly

adverb

trenchant was our Word of the Day on 11/05/2014. Hear the podcast!

Examples of trenchant in a sentence

  1. a writer with a trenchant wit

  2. even the most trenchant sword could not sever the bonds of loyalty between them

Did You Know?

The word trenchant comes from the Anglo-French verb trencher, meaning "to cut," and may ultimately derive from the Vulgar Latin trinicare, meaning "to cut in three." Hence, a trenchant sword is one with a keen edge; a trenchant remark is one that cuts deep; and a trenchant observation is one that cuts to the heart of the matter. Relatives of trenchant in English include the noun trench ("a long ditch cut into the ground") and the verb retrench ("to cut down or pare away" or "to cut down expenses").

Origin and Etymology of trenchant

Middle English trenchaunt, from Anglo-French, present participle of trencher


First Known Use: 14th century


TRENCHANT Defined for English Language Learners

trenchant

play
adjective tren·chant \-chənt\

Definition of trenchant for English Language Learners

  • : very strong, clear, and effective



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