[ poin-yuhnt, poi-nuhnt ]
/ ˈpɔɪn yənt, ˈpɔɪ nənt /


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

1350–1400; Middle English poynaunt < Middle French poignant, present participle of poindre < Latin pungere to prick, pierce. See pungent, -ant


poign·ant·ly, adverbun·poign·ant, adjectiveun·poign·ant·ly, adverb
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2020

Example sentences from the Web for poignant

British Dictionary definitions for poignant

/ (ˈpɔɪnjənt, -nənt) /


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

Derived forms of poignant

poignancy or poignance, nounpoignantly, adverb

Word Origin for poignant

C14: from Old French, from Latin pungens pricking, from pungere to sting, pierce, grieve
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