[ puhn-juhnt ]
See synonyms for: pungentpungency on Thesaurus.com

  1. sharply affecting the organs of taste or smell, as if by a penetrating power; biting; acrid.

  2. acutely distressing to the feelings or mind; poignant.

  1. caustic, biting, or sharply expressive: pungent remarks.

  2. mentally stimulating or appealing: pungent wit.

  3. Biology. piercing or sharp-pointed.

Origin of pungent

First recorded in 1590–1600; from Latin pungent-, stem of pungēns “pricking,” present participle of pungere “to prick”; cf. poignant

Other words for pungent

Opposites for pungent

Other words from pungent

  • pun·gen·cy, noun
  • pun·gent·ly, adverb
  • non·pun·gen·cy, noun
  • non·pun·gent, adjective
  • non·pun·gent·ly, adverb

Words Nearby pungent

Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2024

How to use pungent in a sentence

British Dictionary definitions for pungent


/ (ˈpʌndʒənt) /

  1. having an acrid smell or sharp bitter flavour

  2. (of wit, satire, etc) biting; caustic

  1. biology ending in a sharp point: a pungent leaf

Origin of pungent

C16: from Latin pungens piercing, from pungere to prick

Derived forms of pungent

  • pungency, noun
  • pungently, adverb

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