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[poin-yuh n-see, poin-uh n-]
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noun, plural poign·an·cies for 2.
  1. the state or condition of being poignant.
  2. a poignant moment, event, situation, or the like.
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Origin of poignancy

First recorded in 1680–90; poign(ant) + -ancy
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Related Words for poignancy

passion, sadness, pathos, concentration, sharpness, piquancy, sentimentality, feeling, unhappiness

Examples from the Web for poignancy

Contemporary Examples of poignancy

Historical Examples of poignancy

  • For twenty-four hours Mr. Caryll's grief was overwhelming in its poignancy.

    The Lion's Skin

    Rafael Sabatini

  • To be “run ashore” has the littleness, poignancy, and bitterness of human error.

  • It was my first delinquency, and had all the poignancy of a first fault.

    Confessions Of Con Cregan

    Charles James Lever

  • These words from her had a poignancy of meaning which made his reply difficult.

  • But indistinct as things were, the poignancy of it went through him, and he groaned.

    The Bishop of Cottontown

    John Trotwood Moore

Word Origin and History for poignancy


1680s, "sharpness, keenness," from poignant + -cy.

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper