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trenchant

[tren-chuh nt] /ˈtrɛn tʃənt/
adjective
1.
incisive or keen, as language or a person; caustic; cutting:
trenchant wit.
2.
vigorous; effective; energetic:
a trenchant policy of political reform.
3.
clearly or sharply defined; clear-cut; distinct.
Origin of trenchant
1275-1325
1275-1325; Middle English tranchaunt < Anglo-French; Old French trenchant, present participle of trenchier to cut. See trench, -ant
Related forms
trenchancy, noun
trenchantly, adverb
Synonyms
1. sharp, biting, acute.
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2017.
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Examples from the Web for trenchant
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • It was exhaustive and trenchant, and produced a great effect.

    The Grand Old Man Richard B. Cook
  • I only saw him once, but the gleam in his eyes was as harsh and trenchant as that of a knife.

  • Then followed the trenchant lesson: "For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also."

    Jesus the Christ James Edward Talmage
  • But in the hands of Princess Heinrich silence was a trenchant weapon.

    The King's Mirror Anthony Hope
  • Catenac was in no way disconcerted at this trenchant argument.

    Caught In The Net Emile Gaboriau
British Dictionary definitions for trenchant

trenchant

/ˈtrɛntʃənt/
adjective
1.
keen or incisive: trenchant criticism
2.
vigorous and effective: a trenchant foreign policy
3.
distinctly defined: a trenchant outline
4.
(archaic or poetic) sharp: a trenchant sword
Derived Forms
trenchancy, noun
trenchantly, adverb
Word Origin
C14: from Old French trenchant cutting, from trenchier to cut; see trench
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for trenchant
adj.

early 14c., "cutting, sharp," from Old French trenchant "cutting, sharp," present participle of trenchier "to cut" (see trench). Figurative sense is recorded from c.1600.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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