1 : agreeably stimulating to the palate; especially : spicy
2 : engagingly provocative; also : having a lively arch charm
Did You Know?
Piquant flavors "sting" the tongue and piquant words "prick" the intellect, arousing interest. These varying senses reflect the etymology of the word "piquant," which first appeared in English in the 17th century and which derives from the Middle French verb "piquer," meaning "to sting" or "to prick." Though first used to describe foods with spicy flavors, the word is now often used to describe things that are spicy in other ways, such as engaging conversation. Have we piqued your curiosity about another "piquer" offspring? If you’ve already guessed that the verb "pique," meaning "to offend" or "to arouse by provocation," comes from "piquer," too, you’ve got a sharp mind.
Reggie's piquant commentary always makes for interesting listening, though sometimes his remarks can go too far.
"Our main courses were preceded by green salads, which were bright and crisp with a suitably piquant balsamic vinegar dressing."- From a review by Irv Dean in The Daily Gazette, February 19, 2012
Test Your Vocabulary with M-W Quizzes
Name That Synonym
What synonym of "piquant" rhymes with "springy"? The answer is ...
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