[ puhn-juhnt ]
/ ˈpʌn dʒənt /


sharply affecting the organs of taste or smell, as if by a penetrating power; biting; acrid.
acutely distressing to the feelings or mind; poignant.
caustic, biting, or sharply expressive: pungent remarks.
mentally stimulating or appealing: pungent wit.
Biology. piercing or sharp-pointed.

Origin of pungent

1590–1600; < Latin pungent- (stem of pungēns), present participle of pungere to prick. See poignant, point, -ent

Related forms

Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for pungency

British Dictionary definitions for pungency


/ (ˈpʌndʒənt) /


having an acrid smell or sharp bitter flavour
(of wit, satire, etc) biting; caustic
biology ending in a sharp pointa pungent leaf

Derived Forms

pungency, nounpungently, adverb

Word Origin for pungent

C16: from Latin pungens piercing, from pungere to prick
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