[ tren-chuhnt ]
/ ˈtrɛn tʃənt /


incisive or keen, as language or a person; caustic; cutting: trenchant wit.
vigorous; effective; energetic: a trenchant policy of political reform.
clearly or sharply defined; clear-cut; distinct.

Origin of trenchant

1275–1325; Middle English tranchaunt < Anglo-French; Old French trenchant, present participle of trenchier to cut. See trench, -ant

Related forms

trench·an·cy, nountrench·ant·ly, adverb Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for trenchant

British Dictionary definitions for trenchant


/ (ˈtrɛntʃənt) /


keen or incisivetrenchant criticism
vigorous and effectivea trenchant foreign policy
distinctly defineda trenchant outline
archaic, or poetic sharpa trenchant sword

Derived Forms

trenchancy, nountrenchantly, adverb

Word Origin for trenchant

C14: from Old French trenchant cutting, from trenchier to cut; see trench
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