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  • WordNet 3.6
    • n poignancy a quality that arouses emotions (especially pity or sorrow) "the film captured all the pathos of their situation"
    • n poignancy a state of deeply felt distress or sorrow "a moment of extraordinary poignancy"
    • ***
Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
    • n Poignancy The quality or state of being poignant; as, the poignancy of satire; the poignancy of grief.
    • ***
Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
    • n poignancy The power of stimulating the organs of taste; piquancy.
    • n poignancy Point; sharpness; keenness; power of irritation: asperity: as, the poignancy of wit or sarcasm.
    • n poignancy Pain-fulness; keenness; bitterness: as, the poignancy of grief.
    • ***
Chambers's Twentieth Century Dictionary
    • n Poignancy state of being poignant
    • ***


Chambers's Twentieth Century Dictionary
O. Fr. poignant, poindre—L. pungĕre, to sting.


In literature:

It grew in poignancy, clearer and stronger, till it led him like a clew to the body of David.
"The Emigrant Trail" by Geraldine Bonner
It gains in poignancy, but loses reality.
"A Preface to Politics" by Walter Lippmann
The Present became sharpened to poignancy.
"The Seventh Noon" by Frederick Orin Bartlett
With the poignancy of a poisoned arrow reality came to me.
"The Best Short Stories of 1917" by Various
He sat up straight, arrested by the poignancy of that echo from the past.
"The Tyranny of Weakness" by Charles Neville Buck
Everyone in the room felt the poignancy of the moment.
"Possessed" by Cleveland Moffett
During the few weeks preceding my return to Chicago, the quarrels between the three had grown in poignancy.
"An Anarchist Woman" by Hutchins Hapgood
O those broken and gasped-out human cries, full of the old poignancy, full of the old enchantment!
"Visions and Revisions" by John Cowper Powys
And I have a bonny Scottish thirst, the poignancy of which both of you have been happily spared.
"The Rough Road" by William John Locke
But these memories had lost their poignancy.
"Otherwise Phyllis" by Meredith Nicholson
Suddenly a picture of her youth came back to her with a poignancy that almost hurt.
"The Comings of Cousin Ann" by Emma Speed Sampson
The poignancy of forcemeat should be proportioned to the savouriness of the viands, to which it is intended to give an additional zest.
"The Cook's Oracle; and Housekeeper's Manual" by William Kitchiner
Nevertheless, as she sat in church her face had a pathos and poignancy.
"The Rainbow" by D. H. (David Herbert) Lawrence
But though the blanket had the poignancy of thin knives, he kept telling himself that it was all unreal.
"The Paliser case" by Edgar Saltus
His ardor had the poignancy of the period beyond youth.
"Wild Oranges" by Joseph Hergesheimer
That was what baffled Finn, and struck a kind of terror into his heart, to lend poignancy to his sorrow.
"Finn The Wolfhound" by A. J. Dawson
And therein lay the anguish and the poignancy.
"The Wave" by Algernon Blackwood
The poignancy of the recollection was a torture to him.
"The Hillman" by E. Phillips Oppenheim
Even Ferdinand, that heart of steel, was feeling the poignancy of the crisis.
"Mrs. Fitz" by J. C. Snaith
The poignancy of the disappointment pierces my heart.
"Prison Memoirs of an Anarchist" by Alexander Berkman

In news:

Alton's 'Spitfire Grill' serves tuneful poignancy sunny side up.
There was a poignancy to Rafael Nadal's semi-surprise visit to Valencia, Spain, early this week.
"Period of Adjustment": Romantic Holiday Comedy Achieves Lyrical Poignancy.
A special poignancy visited the opening ceremonies of the 82nd St Peter's Fiesta last night.
New play 'Other Desert Cities' is oasis of humor, poignance .
Actors & Artists Against AIDS Production Combines Humor with Poignancy .
We came so fragile and, let's be honest, fearful into the 30th Olympic Games that ended here last night with all the poignancy of the sweetest parting.
There was poignancy in the timing of Marvin Miller's death, with the Major League Baseball Players Association holding its annual executive board meeting this week in Manhattan.
Most important, it brings the needed intimacy, sincerity and poignancy to the key emotional encounters.
"I work to create poignancy by putting this trash together with my paintings — to find the beauty in what we throw away," Dani says.
Death adds poignancy to memoir.

In science:

It is the only instrumental work Mozart wrote in E-minor and its poignancy reflects Mozart’s reaction to the news of his mother’s death.
Matters of Gravity, the newsletter of the Topical Group in Gravitation of the American Physical Society