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piquant

[pee-kuh nt, -kahnt, pee-kahnt] /ˈpi kənt, -kɑnt, piˈkɑnt/
adjective
1.
agreeably pungent or sharp in taste or flavor; pleasantly biting or tart:
a piquant aspic.
2.
agreeably stimulating, interesting, or attractive:
a piquant glance.
3.
of an interestingly provocative or lively character:
a piquant wit.
4.
Archaic. sharp or stinging, especially to the feelings.
Origin
1515-1525
1515-25; < French: literally, pricking (see pique1, -ant); replacing pickante < Italian piccante
Related forms
piquancy, piquantness, noun
piquantly, adverb
Synonyms
1. spicy. 2. intriguing. 3. sharp, clever.
Antonyms
1. insipid.
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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Examples from the web for piquancy
  • The rich spirit is shaken awake by the buoyant piquancy of the ginger beer, while the lime slashes through the sweetness of both.
  • Its piquancy shows off a light raspberry-strawberry flavor.
  • But the smell was magnificent and hearty, with piquancy from balsamic vinegar.
  • There was a piquancy, a sharp flavor, in his talk that was delightful.
British Dictionary definitions for piquancy

piquant

/ˈpiːkənt; -kɑːnt/
adjective
1.
having an agreeably pungent or tart taste
2.
lively or stimulating to the mind
Derived Forms
piquancy, (rare) piquantness, noun
piquantly, adverb
Word Origin
C16: from French (literally: prickling), from piquer to prick, goad; see pique1
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for piquancy
n.

1660s, from piquant + -cy.

piquant

adj.

1520s, from Middle French piquant "pricking, stimulating, irritating," present participle of piquer "to prick, sting, nettle" (see pike (n.2)).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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