English Dictionary

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piquant (ˈpiːkənt Pronunciation for piquant ; -kɑːnt) 



  1. having an agreeably pungent or tart taste
  2. lively or stimulating to the mind

Derived Forms

ˈpiquancy, (rare) ˈpiquantness noun
ˈpiquantly adverb

Word Origin

C16: from French (literally: prickling), from piquer to prick, goad; see pique1


View thesaurus entry
= spicy, biting, sharp, stinging, tart, savoury, pungent, tangy, highly-seasoned, peppery, zesty, with a kick, acerb,

Example Sentences Including 'piquant'

A more piquant but, again, slight offering is journalist Greg Critser's Fat Land (Houghton Mifflin, $37.95).
Globe and Mail (2003)
And so, in restaurants, we are for ever offered small piquant things with cold rice and pickles.
Times, Sunday Times (2005)
Anyway, there was an air of insouciance about the sandwiches; she spent time thinking up new piquant fillings.
Salley Vickers MR GOLIGHTLY'S HOLIDAY (2003)
From the orchestra, too, rose the most piquant colours, many hidden in other performances.
Times, Sunday Times (2002)
She too had a piquant face, a cat face, broad across the brow and eyes, a small pointed chin.
Paige, Frances The Glasgow Girls
The beef was rare and soft as butter, the bread still warm from the oven, the cheese ripe and piquant.
Clive Barker EVERVILLE (2001)
The grilled octopus is tough but we love its piquant dressing made from sesame, watercress, soy and rice vinegar.
Globe and Mail (2003)
Worryingly flattened, deep-fried and accompanied with a sweet piquant chilli sauce, these testicles were reassuringly tasteless.
New Scientist (1998)


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