What does poignant mean?

Definitions for poignant
ˈpɔɪn yənt, ˈpɔɪ nəntpoignant

This dictionary definitions page includes all the possible meanings, example usage and translations of the word poignant.

Princeton's WordNet

  1. affecting, poignant, touchingadjective

    arousing affect

    "the homecoming of the released hostages was an affecting scene"; "poignant grief cannot endure forever"; "his gratitude was simple and touching"

  2. poignantadjective

    keenly distressing to the mind or feelings

    "poignant anxiety"


  1. poignantadjective

    Sharp-pointed; keen.

  2. poignantadjective

    Incisive; penetrating.

    His comments were poignant and witty.

  3. poignantadjective

    neat; eloquent; applicable; relevant.

    A poignant reply will garner more credence than hours of blown smoke.

  4. poignantadjective

    Evoking strong mental sensation, to the point of distress; emotionally moving.

    Flipping through his high school yearbook evoked many a poignant memory of yesteryear.

  5. poignantadjective

    Piquant, pungent.

  6. poignantadjective


  7. poignantadjective

    Inducing sharp physical pain.

  8. Etymology: From poynaunt, puignant et al., poignant, present participle of poindre, from pungo.

Samuel Johnson's Dictionary

  1. POIGNANTadjective

    Etymology: poignant, Fr.

    No poignant sauce she knew, nor costly treat,
    Her hunger gave a relish to her meat. Dryden.

    The studious man, whose will was never determined to poignant sauces and delicious wine, is, by hunger and thirst, determined to eating and drinking. John Locke.

    If God makes use of some poignant disgrace to let out the poisonous vapour, is not the mercy greater than the severity of the cure? Robert South, Sermons.

    Full three long hours his tender body did sustain
    Most exquisite and poignant pain. John Norris, Miscel.


  1. poignant

    Poignant is an adjective used to describe something that evokes a strong emotion, typically of sadness, empathy, or sympathy. It usually refers to something deeply moving, touching, or thought-provoking in a way that lingers in one's emotions or memory.

Webster Dictionary

  1. Poignantadjective

    pricking; piercing; sharp; pungent

  2. Poignantadjective

    fig.: Pointed; keen; satirical

  3. Etymology: [F., p. pr. of poindre to sting, fr. L. pungere to prick, sting. See Pungent.]

Chambers 20th Century Dictionary

  1. Poignant

    poin′ant, adj. stinging, pricking: sharp: penetrating: acutely painful: satirical: pungent.—n. Poign′ancy, state of being poignant.—adv. Poign′antly. [O. Fr. poignant, poindre—L. pungĕre, to sting.]

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How to say poignant in sign language?


  1. Chaldean Numerology

    The numerical value of poignant in Chaldean Numerology is: 7

  2. Pythagorean Numerology

    The numerical value of poignant in Pythagorean Numerology is: 6

Examples of poignant in a Sentence

  1. Ian Ziering:

    We actually got a chance to rehearse our scenes together and have some great poignant moments, when you meet Gilbert Shepard you understand what makes Fin tick. It's kind of nice. It's very grounded and it's wonderful character development, because you can't always be slicing through sharks. You've got to ground it in a humanity. This movie does it very nicely with Fin Shepard and his family.

  2. Logan Pearsall Smith:

    There are few sorrows, however poignant, in which a good income is of no avail.

  3. Sybil Adelman:

    Most of you have been where I am tonight. The crash site of unrequited love. You ask yourself, How did I get here What was it about Was it her smile Was it the way she crossed her legs, the turn of her ankle, the poignant vulnerability of her slender wrists What are these elusive and ephemeral things that ignite passion in the human heart That's an age-old question. It's perfect food for thought on a bright midsummer's night.

  4. Michael Enright:

    After I saw the cowardly way James Foley was killed, I knew I had to do something, and what was most poignant for me.

  5. Jim Morekis:

    “From Conrad Aiken to Flannery O’Connor to Midnight, Savannah has always been a literary town. But certainly one of her most consistently excellent—and consistently underrated—writers is the man known as Aberjhani. Known for his nationally published short stories and poetry Aberjhani has received critical acclaim for his ability to encapsulate the Southern black experience in a sensitive and poignant way that’s accessible to readers of any race or region.” --from All That Jazz

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Translations for poignant

From our Multilingual Translation Dictionary

  • ergreifend, eindringlich, eindringend, schneidend, schmerzlich, schmerzhaft, streng, treffend, packend, zugespitzt, beißend, stechend, pikant, durchdringend, spitz, scharfGerman
  • διαπεραστικός, σπαραχτικός, οξύς, οδυνηρός, αιχμηρός, αιχημρός, επίπονοςGreek
  • agudo, elocuente, claro, incisivo, punzo-cortante, conmovedor, picante, penetrante, puntiagudoSpanish
  • تکان دهندهPersian
  • kärkevä, kirpeä, pistävä, pikanttiFinnish
  • poignantFrench
  • tiamhaidhScottish Gaelic
  • elevenbe vágóHungarian
  • penetrante, chiaro, toccante, intenso, pungente, piccante, commovente, acuto, eloquente, appuntito, affilato, incisivo, emozionante, dolorosoItalian
  • נוגע ללבHebrew
  • 辛辣な, 痛烈な, 鋭いJapanese
  • ಕಟುವಾದKannada
  • whakaarohaMāori
  • schrijnendDutch
  • wzruszający, cięty, ostryPolish
  • incisivo, agudo, penetrante, claro, picante, emocionante, pungente, eloquente, comovente, doloroso, pontiagudoPortuguese
  • резкий (о запахе), пронизывающий, острыйRussian
  • starkSwedish
  • thấm thíaVietnamese
  • שאַרףYiddish
  • 凄美Chinese

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"poignant." Definitions.net. STANDS4 LLC, 2023. Web. 9 Dec. 2023. <https://www.definitions.net/definition/poignant>.

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    a decorative musical accompaniment (often improvised) added above a basic melody
    • A. knead
    • B. descant
    • C. caddie
    • D. fluster

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