English Dictionary

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piquancy (ˈpiːkənsɪ) 



  1. (cookery) the quality of having a pleasantly spicy taste   ⇒ A little mustard is served on the side to add further piquancy.
  2. an interesting and exciting quality   ⇒ Piquancy was added to the situation because Dr Porter was then on the point of marrying Hugh Miller.


View thesaurus entry
= spiciness, bite, kick, edge, flavour, spice, relish, zest, tang, sharpness, pungency
= interest, pep, zip, vitality, colour, spirit, excitement, vigour, zing, raciness, pizzazz or pizazz

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

Example Sentences Including 'piquancy'

But the injury that has ended the career of Act One could not have been timed with greater piquancy.
Times, Sunday Times (2002)
He could smell the piquancy of the dream-sea, and his skin tingled with the subtle energies it gave off.
Clive Barker EVERVILLE (2001)
I don't know who does the actual stuffing and I don't much care, but they do give an added piquancy , there's no doubt of that.
Davies, Russell (ed) The Kenneth Williams Letters
The rage for spices was not simply to add piquancy to food or to preserve it.
New Scientist (2004)
What gives the show added piquancy is Cook's determination to wander down some of Broadway's more dimly lit side streets.
Times, Sunday Times (2004)


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