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[puhn-juh nt] /ˈpʌn dʒənt/

sharply affecting the organs of taste or smell, as if by a penetrating power; biting; acrid.
acutely distressing to the feelings or mind; poignant.
caustic, biting, or sharply expressive:
pungent remarks.
mentally stimulating or appealing:
pungent wit.
Biology. piercing or sharp-pointed.
having an acrid smell or sharp bitter flavour
(of wit, satire, etc) biting; caustic
(biology) ending in a sharp point: a pungent leaf

1590s, “sharp, poignant” (of pain or grief), from Latin pungentem (nominative pungens), present participle of pungere “to prick, pierce, sting,” figuratively, “to vex, grieve, trouble, afflict,” related to pugnus “fist” (see pugnacious). Meaning “having powerful odor or taste” first recorded 1660s. Literal sense “sharp, pointed” (c.1600) is very rare in English, mostly limited to botany. Middle English and early Modern English also had a now-obsolete verb punge “to prick, pierce; to smart, cause to sting,” from Latin pungere. Related: Pungently.


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