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Definition of "piquant" [pi•quant]

  • Pleasantly pungent or tart in taste; spicy. (adjective)
  • Appealingly provocative: a piquant wit. (adjective)
  • Charming, interesting, or attractive: a piquant face. (adjective)
  • Archaic Causing hurt feelings; stinging. (adjective)

American Heritage(R) Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition. Copyright (c) 2011 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.

Use "piquant" in a sentence
  • "What is particularly piquant — that's right I used the word piquant — about the conflation of Nicaragua and El Salvador is that it suggests America's entire effort "down there" was nothing but folly, hubris, and imperialism."
  • "It was the old world and the new one brought face to face with a vengeance! the contrast rendered the more piquant from the fact of the new one being represented by the worthy middle-aged baronet, the old by the girl of seventeen."
  • "Mrs. Cary's "piquant" -- pronounced in a manner that was neither French nor English, but a startling mixture of both -- had a background to it of charitable patronage."