Word of the Day : November 5, 2014


adjective TREN-chunt


1 : keen, sharp

2 : vigorously effective and articulate; also : caustic

3 a : sharply perceptive : penetrating

b : clear-cut, distinct

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").


The daily news satire show not only offers a healthy dose of laughs but also trenchant commentary on the current events of the day.

"Nowhere was hayseed dialect better used to deliver trenchant truths than in 'The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn.' Through the voice of an uneducated river-town boy, Mark Twain skewered pretense, pride, and the shameful inhumanity of slavery and racism." - John Yemma, Christian Science Monitor, October 5, 2014

Test Your Memory

Fill in the blank in this sentence from our November 2nd Word of the Day: "Unloosing one of his frequent ___________, grandfather declared that by eating healthy and exercising regularly he hoped to become 'nearly immoral.'" The answer is …


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