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Definition of "poignant" []

  • Profoundly moving; touching: a poignant memory. See Synonyms at moving. (adjective)
  • Physically painful: "Keen, poignant agonies seemed to shoot from his neck downward” ( Ambrose Bierce). (adjective)
  • Keenly distressing to the mind or feelings: poignant anxiety. (adjective)
  • Piercing; incisive: poignant criticism. (adjective)
  • Neat, skillful, and to the point: poignant illustrations supplementing the text. (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 "poignant" in a sentence
  • "To "King" and others who mope like him, people - regardless of their party affiliation or ideology - cannot honestly have their perceptions modified or even tantalized by what they identify as poignant and powerfully moving moments."
  • "Especially poignant is TV host Dave Holmes 'eloquent description of what it's like to be different as a young person."
  • "He continues to grow people with disabilities in poignant roles ... he never writes down to the people."