Lookups spiked 5,100% on February 27, 2019
Trenchant was among our top lookups on February 27th, 2019, after the word was used by Rep. Jamie Raskin in an address to Michael Cohen during the congressional hearings before the House Oversight Committee:
Now you described the Trump campaign as a once in a lifetime money-making opportunity, "the greatest infomercial of all time," I think you said, and this may be the most trenchant observation of your whole testimony.
Trenchant has a number of closely related meanings, including “keen,” “vigorously effective and articulate”, “caustic,” “sharply perceptive,” and “clear-cut.”
Trenchant comes from trencher, an Anglo-French word meaning “to cut,” a root it shares with trench (“ a long cut in the ground; a ditch”). In early use the word frequently was used to describe the sharpness of a sword; in current English trenchant often takes a more figurative meaning, modifying words such as wit or analysis.
Mute sir, doe you say? if hee chance to be one of his servants, and of the same Alloy, sodainly with a Trenchant tongue hee replies, and I doe the like: then hee prosecutes weaving a thousand prittle prattles, with as many masked offers, that never have an end.
— Italian Benvenuto, The passenger, 1612
Trend Watch is a data-driven report on words people are looking up at much higher search rates than normal. While most trends can be traced back to the news or popular culture, our focus is on the lookup data rather than the events themselves.