pungent

adjective
pun·​gent | \ ˈpən-jənt How to pronounce pungent (audio) \

Definition of pungent

1 : sharply painful
2 : having a stiff and sharp point pungent leaves
3a : marked by a sharp incisive quality : caustic a pungent critic pungent language
b : being sharp and to the point
4a : causing a sharp or irritating sensation especially : acrid
b : having an intense flavor or odor a pungent chili

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Other Words from pungent

pungently adverb

Synonyms & Antonyms for pungent

Synonyms

Antonyms

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Choose the Right Synonym for pungent

pungent, piquant, poignant, racy mean sharp and stimulating to the mind or the senses. pungent implies a sharp, stinging, or biting quality especially of odors. a cheese with a pungent odor piquant suggests a power to whet the appetite or interest through tartness or mild pungency. a piquant sauce poignant suggests something is sharply or piercingly effective in stirring one's emotions. felt a poignant sense of loss racy implies having a strongly characteristic natural quality fresh and unimpaired. spontaneous, racy prose

Examples of pungent in a Sentence

The left has often complained that what it needs isn't polite speech, but voices as pungent as those on the right. — Jennifer Senior, New York Times Book Review, 24 Sept. 2006 I remember the enormous size of that fire and the pungent smell of smoke from the burning chaparral as the flames raced up the slope toward our house. — Tim White, Curious Minds, 2004 Maybe what seems pungent to the locals only becomes alarming when sniffed through a giant Western proboscis, but there are some odors in China that make a visit to Bhopal seem like a picnic downwind from the Arpege factory. — P. J. O'Rourke, Holidays in Hell, 1988 a play with pungent dialogue a pungent satire of current politics
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Recent Examples on the Web That pungent smell is not the stink of U.S. Indian policy, nor can it be blamed on the bison, that’s the sulphur springs. Chadd Scott, Forbes, 4 Oct. 2021 De La Cruz's very popular drugstore acne treatment is one such product that has that pungent smell. Jihan Forbes, Allure, 2 Oct. 2021 As the fishing gets underway, the pungent smell of the gas lingers in the air. CNN, 20 Sep. 2021 For example, the protein TRPM8 is activated by both cold and menthol, the chemical that causes the cooling sensation of mint, while the protein TRPA1 is turned on by the pungent compounds found in garlic. Steven D. Munger, The Conversation, 5 Oct. 2021 Julius used capsaicin, a pungent compound from chili peppers that induces a burning sensation, to identify a sensor in the nerve endings of the skin that responds to heat. BostonGlobe.com, 4 Oct. 2021 So his lab began investigating the workings of a wide range of unpleasant natural substances: toxins from tarantulas and coral snakes, capsaicin from chili peppers and the chemicals that make horseradish and wasabi so pungent. New York Times, 4 Oct. 2021 This can lead to an unfortunate (and pungent) cloud of smoke. Washington Post, 1 Oct. 2021 Further in, the aromas grow more pungent, oily and fragrantly smoky; like going fishing, with background aromas of tarry rope and boat engine. Karla Alindahao, Forbes, 30 Sep. 2021

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'pungent.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of pungent

1598, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for pungent

Latin pungent-, pungens, present participle of pungere to prick, sting; akin to Latin pugnus fist, pugnare to fight, Greek pygmē fist

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Time Traveler for pungent

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The first known use of pungent was in 1598

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Dictionary Entries Near pungent

pungency

pungent

pungey

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Last Updated

26 Oct 2021

Cite this Entry

“Pungent.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/pungent. Accessed 26 Oct. 2021.

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More Definitions for pungent

pungent

adjective

English Language Learners Definition of pungent

: having a strong, sharp taste or smell
: having a strong effect on the mind because of being clever and direct

pungent

adjective
pun·​gent | \ ˈpən-jənt How to pronounce pungent (audio) \

Kids Definition of pungent

: having a strong or sharp taste or smell a pungent odor

Other Words from pungent

pungently adverb

pungent

adjective
pun·​gent | \ -jənt How to pronounce pungent (audio) \

Medical Definition of pungent

: causing a sharp or irritating sensation especially : acrid

Other Words from pungent

pungently adverb

More from Merriam-Webster on pungent

Nglish: Translation of pungent for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of pungent for Arabic Speakers

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