Definition of trenchant
- a trenchant analysis
- trenchant remarks
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a writer with a trenchant wit
even the most trenchant sword could not sever the bonds of loyalty between them
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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").
First Known Use: 14th centurySee Words from the same year
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