American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition
- adj. Pleasantly pungent or tart in taste; spicy.
- adj. Appealingly provocative: a piquant wit.
- adj. Charming, interesting, or attractive: a piquant face.
- adj. Archaic Causing hurt feelings; stinging.
Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
- Of an agreeable pungency or sharpness of taste or flavor; sharp; stinging; biting: as, sauce piquant.
- Of a smart, lively, racy, or sparkling nature; keenly interesting, or fitted to produce a sudden or keen interest; “taking”: as, a piquant anecdote: a piquant manner; a piquant style of female beauty; a piquant hat.
- That pierces or wounds, or is fitted to pierce or wound; stinging; sharp or cutting to the feelings; biting; keen; pungent; severe.
- Synonyms Poignant, etc. See pungent.
- adj. Engaging; charming.
- adj. Favorably stimulating to the palate; pleasantly spicy; stimulating.
- adj. archaic Causing hurt feelings; scathing.
GNU Webster's 1913
- adj. Stimulating to the taste; giving zest; tart; sharp; pungent.
- adj. having an agreeably pungent taste
- adj. attracting or delighting
- adj. engagingly stimulating or provocative
- Middle French piquant ("pricking, stimulating, irritating"), from Old French piquer ("to prick, sting, nettle"). Related to pike. (Wiktionary)
- French, from Old French, present participle of piquer, to prick; see pique. (American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
“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.”
“That is what you may call piquant, it braces and refreshes a man.”
“He soon tired of the others, wanted something new; recalled the piquant character of the girl and took a fancy into his head that she would lighten his ennui.”
“One saving grace would be that the MxDW at least wouldn't have that lovely, "piquant" flavor from being smuggled in empty ammonia tankers.”
“Mr. Buruma skirts the issue by calling this cruel man "fastidious and difficult," "piquant," a "trickster," ... or an example of "bad boy behavior.”
“There was a kind of piquant joy in their hearts as they crept up past the Tower, and saw its mighty walls and guns across the water.”
“It looks certainly very graceful, fresh, animated, "piquant," as they love to say -- yes! and withal, I repeat, perfectly pure, and may well congratulate itself on the loan of a fallacious grace, not its own.”
“With hatred he watched her worn but still "piquant," sneering, Parisian face, her white cuffs, her silken apron, and light cap.”
These user-created lists contain the word ‘piquant’.
A complete Barron's Wordlist for GRE preparation. Your online flashcard replacement.
Collected from reading
you may want to get a glass of water
(this is not strictly a list of cultivars; preparations and other related terms may be included)
When exasperated, vexed or distressed.
Loanwords from French -- both established and wet behind the ears -- that are tricky to spell or pronounce properly.
with wit mess (between less & ness)
Just whatever words I might happen across in my wanderings that I find myself compelled to write down so that I remember to try to use them. Not necessarily unusual words, but worthwhile ones.
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