[ pee-kuhnt, -kahnt, pee-kahnt ]
/ ˈpi kənt, -kɑnt, piˈkɑnt /


agreeably pungent or sharp in taste or flavor; pleasantly biting or tart: a piquant aspic.
agreeably stimulating, interesting, or attractive: a piquant glance.
of an interestingly provocative or lively character: a piquant wit.
Archaic. sharp or stinging, especially to the feelings.

Words nearby piquant

Origin of piquant

1515–25; < French: literally, pricking (see pique1, -ant); replacing pickante < Italian piccante


pi·quan·cy, pi·quant·ness, nounpi·quant·ly, adverb
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for piquancy

British Dictionary definitions for piquancy

/ (ˈpiːkənt, -kɑːnt) /


having an agreeably pungent or tart taste
lively or stimulating to the mind

Derived forms of piquant

piquancy or rare piquantness, nounpiquantly, adverb

Word Origin for piquant

C16: from French (literally: prickling), from piquer to prick, goad; see pique 1
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