• WordNet 3.6
    • adj poignant arousing affect "the homecoming of the released hostages was an affecting scene","poignant grief cannot endure forever","his gratitude was simple and touching"
    • adj poignant keenly distressing to the mind or feelings "poignant anxiety"
    • ***
Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
    • Poignant Fig.: Pointed; keen; satirical. "His wit . . . became more lively and poignant ."
    • Poignant Pricking; piercing; sharp; pungent. "His poignant spear.""Poynaunt sauce."
    • ***
Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
    • poignant Sharp to the taste; biting; piquant; pungent.
    • poignant Pointed; keen; sharp.
    • poignant Keen; bitter; satirical; hence, telling; striking.
    • poignant Severe; piercing; very painful or acute: as, poignant pain or grief.
    • poignant Synonyms and Piquant, etc. (see pungent), sharp, penetrating, intense, biting, acrid, caustic.
    • ***
Chambers's Twentieth Century Dictionary
    • adj Poignant poin′ant stinging, pricking: sharp: penetrating: acutely painful: satirical: pungent
    • ***


  • Erich Fromm
    “To die is poignantly bitter, but the idea of having to die without having lived is unbearable.”
  • Robert Frost
    “There are few sorrows, however poignant, in which a good income is of no avail.”
  • Eric Hoffer
    “A grievance is most poignant when almost redressed.”
  • Konstantin Stanislavisky
    Konstantin Stanislavisky
    “Success is transient, evanescent. The real passion lies in the poignant acquisition of knowledge about all the shading and subtleties of the creative secrets.”


Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
F., p. pr. of poindre, to sting, fr. L. pungere, to prick, sting. See Pungent
Chambers's Twentieth Century Dictionary
O. Fr. poignant, poindre—L. pungĕre, to sting.


In literature:

That we cannot to-day gaze upon the classic lineaments of her who welded such a facile pen, is a source of the most poignant regret.
"Punchinello, Vol. II., No. 33, November 12, 1870" by Various
She had voiced the same poignant appeal to her brother Jim.
"The Desert of Wheat" by Zane Grey
This brings poignantly to my remembrance one of the most trying hours of my life, and yet the support then received was wonderful.
"Memoir and Diary of John Yeardley, Minister of the Gospel" by John Yeardley
It was the voice of a very old man, tired out, indifferent, poignantly feeble.
"Bunch Grass" by Horace Annesley Vachell
Suddenly the collie uttered a poignant short bark and leaped heavily to one side.
"Three John Silence Stories" by Algernon Blackwood
There was a sense of wonder, of poignant distress, and of trepidation.
"Three More John Silence Stories" by Algernon Blackwood
Victorine's tears smote on him poignantly.
"Between Whiles" by Helen Hunt Jackson
And his first feeling, before he could think or reflect, was the rush of a poignant and searching tenderness.
"The Wendigo" by Algernon Blackwood
On the second and far more poignant terror that still survives in the very nature of death, he hardly touches.
"Essays in Rebellion" by Henry W. Nevinson
His grief was too poignant.
"For Gold or Soul?" by Lurana W. Sheldon
His astonishment was poignant.
"Bambi" by Marjorie Benton Cooke
Poignant feeling brings its own anaesthetic.
"Big Timber" by Bertrand W. Sinclair
It is a long, melancholy wail, poignant with the pain of living, but it tells what man can not.
"The Sky Line of Spruce" by Edison Marshall
The pleasure is all in the poignant moment of passing from not knowing to knowing.
"All Things Considered" by G. K. Chesterton
Her ecstasy was poignant; she trembled in her walk.
"The Lions of the Lord" by Harry Leon Wilson
It went on, soundless but uncannily poignant.
"The Wrong Twin" by Harry Leon Wilson
Poor Clayton-Vane's case is one of the most poignant peace tragedies that have come to my notice.
"Punch, or the London Charivari, Vol. 156, March 19, 1919" by Various
And like love and sorrow, refined to a poignant essence, still the music brooded and cried and aspired.
"The Precipice" by Elia Wilkinson Peattie
There were personal dread and poignant pain for Wade in Columbine Belllounds's situation.
"The Mysterious Rider" by Zane Grey
His eyes were filled, indeed, with a sudden compassion; a compassion overflowing, unmistakable, and poignant.
"V. V.'s Eyes" by Henry Sydnor Harrison

In poetry:

Our reverent feet that golden day
Stood in a quiet place,
That held repressed—I know not what
Of such a poignant grace
As falls, if dumb with life untold,
Upon a human face.
"The Poet And The Poem" by Elizabeth Stuart Phelps Ward
TO see such dire distress, and poignant grief,
Might lead to think, soon death would bring relief;
But I, who know full well the female mind,
At best oft doubt affliction of the kind.
"Joconde" by Jean de La Fontaine
SO great the husband's rage, no words can speak:
His fury somewhere he of course would wreak;
But, since to paint it clearly would be vain—
You'll by the sequel judge his poignant pain.
"The Little Dog" by Jean de La Fontaine
"O! bear her from hence! when she sees them rejoice,
Still keener the pain of her agony burns;
And when Joy carols by, with a rapturous voice,
To hopeless Remembrance more poignantly turns.
"The Lay Of Marie - Canto Third" by Matilda Betham
The poignant misery of dawn begins to grow…
We only know war lasts, rain soaks, and clouds sag stormy.
Dawn massing in the east her melancholy army
Attacks once more in ranks on shivering ranks of gray,
But nothing happens.
"Exposure" by Wilfred Owen
Mother and wife one in their poignant grieving,
One in their anguish over lifeless clay;
One in the consolation of believing
That he was worthy who has passed away.
By sorrow consecrate and set apart,
To ponder all the past within their heart.
"In Memory Of John Leach Craig" by Nora Pembroke

In news:

The Hunger Games Is "Gripping, Breathtaking and Poignant ".
The highly ­anticipated epic has arrived -- and it's gripping, breathtaking and poignant .
'Crossing to Safety': Wallace Stegner's poignant classic turns 25.
Daisy Foote's 'Him' is a poignant drama.
Ephrons' poignant tales of obsession.
Book a poignant look at past.
Part of Me captures a poignant moment.
Trio of Horton Foote one-act plays prove poignant .
Things that are kind of poignant and also not.
Recent news and coverage of Things That Are Kind Of Poignant And Also Not.
A Poignant Ad for Marriage Equality.
Prepare to smile at amusing, poignant 'Christmas Shorts'.
Poignant , but is it futile.
Posts Tagged ' poignant .
Plowright shines in widow's poignant story.

In science:

The parallelism between these two transformations becomes all the more poignant if one uses the Ma jorana representation given in the Appendix A.
Supersymmetric electric-magnetic duality as a manifest symmetry of the action for super-Maxwell theory and linearized supergravity
Another poignant remark was made by Amado and Primakoff , who noticed that even a single slightly different kind of electron would lead to a doubling of the highenergy e+ - e− production cross-section in e+ - e− colliders.
Enrico Fermi's view of identical particles
Here is a poignant example of a problem whose space of feasible solutions changes when the Bayesian outlook replaces the frequentist one.
Scaled Boolean Algebras