[tren-chuh nt] /ˈtrɛn tʃənt/
incisive or keen, as language or a person; caustic; cutting:
"trenchant wit."
vigorous; effective; energetic:
"a trenchant policy of political reform."
clearly or sharply defined; clear-cut; distinct.
1275–1325; Middle English tranchaunt < Anglo-French; Old French trenchant, present participle of trenchier to cut. See trench, -ant
Related forms
trenchancy, noun
trenchantly, adverb
1. sharp, biting, acute.
Example Sentences for trenchant
These trenchant observations, in a book which at once became popular, must have gone to swell the rising puritan opposition.
He doubtless needs trenchant treatment to bring him back to reality.
They have a few months now to prepare pithy or trenchant spin for the day this summer when the panel upholds the law.
Not by all controversialists, of course, but by those trenchant intellects which every controversy calls out into the open.
The well-judged dialogue, at once terse and trenchant, finds its own characteristic poetry.
It doesn't get any more honest, funny, or trenchant than that.
Polite quibbling, no matter how trenchant, is different from battling.
The art form evolved as a perfect way to communicate almost any opinion or emotion in a trenchant, poignant or humorous way.
The concept of scale is lacking also from the terms of the motion-no doubt in a desire to stir debate with a trenchant statement.
Enough, it turns out, to make a film that's frothy but trenchant.
British Dictionary definitions for trenchant
trenchant (ˈtrɛntʃənt)
1.  keen or incisive: trenchant criticism
2.  vigorous and effective: a trenchant foreign policy
3.  distinctly defined: a trenchant outline
4.  archaic, poetic or sharp: a trenchant sword
[C14: from Old French trenchant cutting, from trenchier to cut; see trench]

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Word Origin and History for trenchant
early 14c., "cutting, sharp," from O.Fr. trenchant "cutting, sharp," prp. of trenchier "to cut" (see trench). Figurative sense is recorded from c.1600.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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