English Dictionary

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pungency (ˈpʌndʒənsɪ) 



  1. the condition of having a strong, sharp smell or taste which is often so strong that it is unpleasant   ⇒ Baking reduces the pungency of garlic.   ⇒ the spices that give Jamaican food its pungency
  2. (literature, approving, formal) the condition of being biting or caustic and denoting approval because it has a direct and powerful effect and often criticizes something very cleverly   ⇒ The pieces are written with the feverish pungency of wounded rage.

pungent (ˈpʌndʒənt Pronunciation for pungent



  1. having an acrid smell or sharp bitter flavour
  2. (of wit, satire, etc) biting; caustic
  3. (biology) ending in a sharp point   ⇒ a pungent leaf

Derived Forms

ˈpungency noun
ˈpungently adverb

Word Origin

C16: from Latin pungens piercing, from pungere to prick

Example Sentences Including 'pungency'

A few thin shavings transform an omelette, pasta, or even the whole room with their sexual pungency.
Smith, Drew Food Watch
Bach performances on period instruments, however, have made us expect more pungency than was provided here.
Times, Sunday Times (2001)
Characteristic, foxy pungency to the wine's toasty aromas gives way to restrained, ripe fruit.
Glasgow Herald (2001)
The pungency often depends on diet, especially if a lot of intestinal gas is formed, which will exacerbate an already smelly situation.
Ottawa Sun (2003)
There was a telltale pungency in the air that suggested maybe it wasn't just Old Holborn.
Sue Welfare FALLEN WOMEN (2002)
There was an aromatic pungency about it, which lent it a pleasing exoticism.
Clive Barker GALILEE (2001)
We walk and talk for block after block, enjoying the pungency and the scandals.
Misc (1995)


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