• WordNet 3.6
    • adj pungent capable of wounding "a barbed compliment","a biting aphorism","pungent satire"
    • adj pungent strong and sharp "the pungent taste of radishes","the acrid smell of burning rubber"
    • ***
Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
  • Interesting fact: Beer has a bitter taste and slightly pungent aroma because of lupulin, a substance found in hops.
    • Pungent Causing a sharp sensation, as of the taste, smell, or feelings; pricking; biting; acrid; as, a pungent spice. "Pungent radish biting infant's tongue.""The pungent grains of titillating dust."
    • Pungent (Bot) Prickly-pointed; hard and sharp.
    • Pungent Sharply painful; penetrating; poignant; severe; caustic; stinging. "With pungent pains on every side.""His pungent pen played its part in rousing the nation."
    • ***
Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
  • Interesting fact: The Aztecs of Mexico roasted and ground up the cacao bean, mixed it with water, added peppers and other spices, stirred it up to a froth and drank the pungent mixture they called "chocolatl."
    • pungent Piercing; sharp.
    • pungent Specifically — In botany, terminating gradually in a hard sharp point, as the lobes of the holly-leaf.
    • pungent In entomology, fitted for piercing or penetrating: as, a pungent ovipositor.
    • pungent Sharp and painful; poignant.
    • pungent Affecting the tongue like small sharp points; stinging; acrid.
    • pungent Sharply affecting the sense of smell: as, pungent snuff.
    • pungent Hence, sharply affecting the mind; curt and expressive; caustic; racy; biting.
    • pungent Synonyms Sharp, stinging, keen, peppery, acrid, caustic. Piquant, Pungent, Poignant. That which is piquant is just tart enough to be agreeable; that which is pungent is so tart that, if it were more so, it would be positively disagreeable; that which is poignant is likely to prove actually disagreeable to most persons. Pungent is manifestly figurative when not applied to the sense of taste, or, less often, of smell; piquant is similar, but less forcible; poignant is now used chiefly of mental states, etc., as poignant grief, or of things affecting the mind, as poignant wit.
    • pungent In ichthyology, stiff and sharp-pointed: as, a pungent spine.
    • ***
Chambers's Twentieth Century Dictionary
    • adj Pungent pun′jent sharp: pricking or acrid to taste or smell: keenly touching the mind: painful: keen: sarcastic
    • ***


  • Robert Southey
    “If you would be pungent, be brief; for it is with words as with sunbeams -- the more they are condensed, the deeper they burn.”


Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
L. pungens, -entis, p. pr. of pungere, punctum, to prick. Cf. Compunction Expunge Poignant Point (n.) Puncheon Punctilio Punt (v. t.)
Chambers's Twentieth Century Dictionary
L. pungens, -entis, pr.p. of pungĕre, to prick.


In literature:

Very pungent and highly flavored, it is eaten sliced or crumbled to flavor salad dressings, like Roquefort.
"The Complete Book of Cheese" by Robert Carlton Brown
The liquor tasted like earth and water, sweetish for a moment and then acrid and pungent.
"White Shadows in the South Seas" by Frederick O'Brien
This lofty irony, pungent as it is, grows wearisome.
"Blackwood's Edinburgh Magazine--Vol. 54, No. 333, July 1843" by Various
She turned and followed him, choking over the pungent smoke.
"The Uphill Climb" by B. M. Bower
Even the comments of the friendly neutral press were extremely pungent.
"The Inside Story Of The Peace Conference" by Emile Joseph Dillon
Something pungent tickled his nostrils.
"Mavericks" by William MacLeod Raine
Stuart is solemn, pungent, and severe.
"William Lloyd Garrison" by Archibald H. Grimke
The pungent odor from Queenie's stall made his nostrils wrinkle.
"Sheila of Big Wreck Cove" by James A. Cooper
Nor has he Hobbes' sense of style or pungent grasp of the grimness of facts about him.
"Political Thought in England from Locke to Bentham" by Harold J. Laski
They were pungent, pertinent, allusive, succinct, supplementing, as with meat, those others.
"The Life and Death of Richard Yea-and-Nay" by Maurice Hewlett

In poetry:

Ay, Charles Lamb, the wise and witty,
Gentle lover of the city,
Sensibly he spoke, When he dealt his pungent pity
To us country folk:
"Country Life" by Martin Farquhar Tupper
The pines are weary of holding nests,
Are aweary of casting shade;
Wearily smoulder the resin crests
In the pungent gloom of the glade.
"The Wood" by Duncan Campbell Scott
Poor Lazarus endur'd more pungent woe,
And Job with heavier troubles was opprest,
(E'en Christ himself did greater undergo)
But they in endless bliss at present rest.
"Reasons To Persuade The Sick To Be Patient" by Rees Prichard
By this my corp'ral sufferance, 'tis plain,
That I must once to death a victim fall,
And by this pungent grief, and piercing pain,
Thou dost thy servant to repentance call.
"Another On The Same Subject " by Rees Prichard
This pungent grief, my sister dear, restrain,
And to lament thy darling infant cease,
Whom God snatch'd hence, from agonizing pain,
To live with Christ in everlasting peace:
"Advice To A Woman, Not To Grieve Too Much For The Death Of Her Child" by Rees Prichard
Say to my soul, that thou, O God of love!
Hast bought for me the blissful seats above —
Thy precious blood, and an unnumber'd host
Of pungent sorrows, the vast price they cost.
"An Earnest Prayer For Pardon Of Sins" by Rees Prichard

In news:

Sticky, resiny, pungent, citrus-drenched hops.
Then it started marketing its tart, pungent sauvignons blancs, and a wine identity was born.
Even the flamingoes don't seem as pungent as usual.
A West Coast-style IPA that has all of the massively pungent notes, citrus aromas and resinous, chewy mouthfeels of a DIPA, yet weighs in at a manageable 5.2 percent ABV.
Pungent mystery 'perfume' wafts through downtown.
RARITAN TOWNSHIP — Every summer, like clockwork, the pungent smell returns, and this year is no different.
Easy Chinese dish combines five pungent spices.
A visit to the village of Roquefort , France, means being assaulted by pungent aromas, exploring damp underground caves and tasting the most delicious cheese ever made.
Noses across Southern California were hoping for a sweeter-smelling Tuesday as public officials sought a solid answer for what made Monday so pungent.
In this pungent mushroom risotto, we substitute fiber-rich barley for the more traditional arborio rice.
Holy basil 's pungent leaves.
Pungent mystery 'perfume' wafts through downtown .
The new renter noticed a pungent smell inside and called authorities.
Though empty, they still bore the pungent aroma of Turkish tobacco.
The pungent perfume at the produce aisle pulled me in, and I couldn't resist the beautiful plant, abundant with fragrant green leaves.