- keenly distressing to the feelings: poignant regret.
- keen or strong in mental appeal: a subject of poignant interest.
- affecting or moving the emotions: a poignant scene.
- pungent to the smell: poignant cooking odors.
Origin of poignant
SynonymsSee more synonyms on Thesaurus.com
Examples from the Web for poignantly
I am living in Germany now,” she poignantly told us, “but I do not want to die in Germany.Survived Hitler, Returned to Germany
May 25, 2014
Poignantly, the portion doesn't deal with her life at all, but with her death and its aftermath.Despite Hebron's Importance, Israel Will Have to Give It Up
October 28, 2013
And Kings Point elucidates these fears all too clearly and poignantly.No Country for Old People: ‘Kings Point’ Exposes the Hidden Elder Crisis
Donald A. Davidoff
February 16, 2013
No news organization covered September 11, during or since, as comprehensively or as poignantly as the Times did.Inside Tania Head’s Terrible 9/11 Lie: ‘The Woman Who Wasn’t There’
Robin Gaby Fisher, Angelo J. Guglielmo, Jr.
April 6, 2012
If The Art of Fielding begins as a baseball story, so it ends as one, too—poignantly, beautifully, and improbably.Good Glove, No Hit
September 9, 2011
She had suffered so much, so poignantly, that at last her emotions had grown sluggish.Within the Law
She missed him poignantly, with all the force of her protecting passion.The Secret Agent
Poignantly he remembered how a similar device had destroyed a ship.
Who are the gentlefolk the loss of whose patronage to the Feydau will be so poignantly felt?Scaramouche
That was something she poignantly missed; she had never had a secret from Jim before.Peak and Prairie
- sharply distressing or painful to the feelings
- to the point; cutting or piercingpoignant wit
- keen or pertinent in mental appeala poignant subject
- pungent in smell
Word Origin and History for poignantly
late 14c., "painful to physical or mental feeling" (of sauce, spice, wine as well as things that affect the feelings), from Old French poignant "sharp, pointed" (13c.), present participle of poindre "to prick, sting," from Latin pungere "to prick" (see pungent). Related: Poignantly.
The word disguises a linguistics trick-play, a double reverse. Latin pungere is from the same root as Latin pugnus "fist," and represents a metathesis of -n- and -g- that later was reversed in French.