Synonym Chooser

How does the adjective piquant contrast with its synonyms?

Some common synonyms of piquant are poignant, pungent, and racy. While all these words mean "sharp and stimulating to the mind or the senses," piquant suggests a power to whet the appetite or interest through tartness or mild pungency.

a piquant sauce

In what contexts can poignant take the place of piquant?

Although the words poignant and piquant have much in common, poignant suggests something is sharply or piercingly effective in stirring one's emotions.

felt a poignant sense of loss

When is it sensible to use pungent instead of piquant?

The synonyms pungent and piquant are sometimes interchangeable, but pungent implies a sharp, stinging, or biting quality especially of odors.

a cheese with a pungent odor

When might racy be a better fit than piquant?

The words racy and piquant can be used in similar contexts, but racy implies having a strongly characteristic natural quality fresh and unimpaired.

spontaneous, racy prose

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Cite this Entry

“Piquant.” Merriam-Webster.com Thesaurus, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/thesaurus/piquant. Accessed 21 May. 2024.

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