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trenchant

Definitions

  • WordNet 3.6
    • adj trenchant clearly or sharply defined to the mind "clear-cut evidence of tampering","Claudius was the first to invade Britain with distinct...intentions of conquest","trenchant distinctions between right and wrong"
    • adj trenchant characterized by or full of force and vigor "a hard-hitting expose","a trenchant argument"
    • adj trenchant having keenness and forcefulness and penetration in thought, expression, or intellect "searching insights","trenchant criticism"
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Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
    • Trenchant Fig.: Keen; biting; severe; as, trenchant wit.
    • Trenchant Fitted to trench or cut; gutting; sharp. "Trenchant was the blade."
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Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
    • trenchant Cutting; sharp; keen.
    • trenchant Penetrating; energetic; downright.
    • trenchant Specifically, in zoology, sectorial, as a molar or premolar; sharp-edged: as, the trenchant canines of a saber-toothed tiger.
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Chambers's Twentieth Century Dictionary
    • adj Trenchant cutting: sharp: severe
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Quotations

  • Paul J. Meyer
    Paul J. Meyer
    “Determine what specific goal you want to achieve. Then dedicate yourself to its attainment with unswerving singleness of purpose, the trenchant zeal of a crusader.”

Etymology

Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
OF. trenchant, F. tranchant, p. pr. See Trench (v. t.)
Chambers's Twentieth Century Dictionary
O. Fr. trencher (Fr. trancher), acc. to Littré from L. truncāre, to maim—truncus, maimed.

Usage

In literature:

Therefore let us leave the trenchant blade quiescent in its scabbard.
"North of Fifty-Three" by Bertrand W. Sinclair
The Kachin whirled up the spear to guard his head, but the trenchant blade, wielded by those powerful young arms, was not to be denied.
"Jack Haydon's Quest" by John Finnemore
That vigorous and trenchant pen falls from the hand of the preacher.
"Royal Edinburgh" by Margaret Oliphant
It is terse, trenchant, and uncompromising.
"The English Utilitarians, Volume II (of 3)" by Leslie Stephen
The sublimity of Ossian had its opposite in the biting sarcasm and trenchant ridicule of some of the minor poets.
"An Historical Account of the Settlements of Scotch Highlanders in America" by J. P. MacLean
His defense commonly took the form of criticism of his critics, and in such writing his pen was decidedly trenchant.
"James B. Eads" by Louis How
I am well aware that I begin here to tread on ground in which trenchant distinctions may easily seem to mutilate the facts.
"The Will to Believe" by William James
The feelings thereby engendered in the people have been immortalized in the trenchant writings of Thackeray.
"A History of the Nineteenth Century, Year by Year" by Edwin Emerson
In its best estate it forged many a trenchant blade.
"The History of Dartmouth College" by Baxter Perry Smith
The wilderness, grim and trenchant, reigned in unchallenged despotism.
"Carmen Ariza" by Charles Francis Stocking
Cousin Jane was in her element out here; and they two discoursed of farming and gardening, and industry, she in a sharp, trenchant way.
"Hope Mills" by Amanda M. Douglas
Europe found other continents soft butter to her trenchant blade.
"Eyeshine" by Paul Cameron Brown
The trenchant wit of the piece is well sustained, and brought out with particular force in the second and fourth stanzas.
"Writings in the United Amateur, 1915-1922" by Howard Phillips Lovecraft
The right detail is seized; the right word, bold and trenchant, is thrust into its place.
"The Works of Robert Louis Stevenson - Swanston Edition Vol. 3 (of 25)" by Robert Louis Stevenson
Oh, trenchant his avenging sword!
"Legends & Romances of Brittany" by Lewis Spence
They could not recognise the keen, trenchant Prescott who had made such a name for himself on the circuit.
"The Queen Against Owen" by Allen Upward
The play is a trenchant satire on the evils of society.
"An Introduction to Shakespeare" by H. N. MacCracken
In October 1885 a trenchant state paper issued from the German consulate.
"The Works of Robert Louis Stevenson - Swanston Edition Vol. 17 (of 25)" by Robert Louis Stevenson
A very bright planet shone before him and drew a trenchant wake along the water.
"The Works of Robert Louis Stevenson - Swanston Edition Vol. XIX (of 25)" by Robert Louis Stevenson
But the jeweler's trenchant education of them will tell you another story.
"Time and Tide by Weare and Tyne" by John Ruskin
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In poetry:

Take thou the scripture's keen, two-edged sword —
Take thou the mighty falchion of the Word —
For that's the trenchant blade, which at a blow
Can cut and cleave our fierce infernal foe.
"A Warning To Guard, Whilst It Is Yet Day, Against The Assaults Of The World, The Flesh, And The Devi" by Rees Prichard

In news:

Following her 2003 debut The Forest for the Trees, 32-year-old German writer-director Maren Ade 's trenchant, funny, and sensitive Everyone Else ( Alle Anderen ) cuts deeper than an Oscar season's worth of emotional turmoil.
Regarded by many as the finest, and funniest, comic novel of the twentieth century, Lucky Jim remains as trenchant, withering, and eloquently misanthropic as when it first scandalized readers in 1954.
One of the more trenchant cartoons of the Internet era features a stick-figure man typing furiously at his keyboard.
In the course of a recent interview published in U.S.Catholic he offers some trenchant remarks on a number of counts.
The Trenchant Art of James Pate.
New York artist Ryan McNamara creates performances and videos imbued with humorous, macabre pop culture references, trenchant inquiries into identity, and a healthy dose of American spotlight-seeking.
To audiences overseas, contemporary art in China is typified by Ai Weiwei, the most trenchant critic of China's artistic and political restrictions.
Could a President Romney work with one of his most trenchant critics, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid.
Come for the dirty words and bong hits, stay for the trenchant observations-no, seriously.
The Trenchant Art of James Pate .
Witty, trenchant, often surprising, and always insightful, this collection is essential reading for all devotees of theatrical, musical, and film performance .
It's a wildly witty, hilarious collection with some trenchant original essays added—though admittedly I might be a little impartial.
Is there any more prominent and trenchant depicter of the not-so-secret life of contemporary haut bourgeoisie than Eric Fischl.
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In science:

Acknowledgement Obligation is recorded to T Curtright for initiating appreciation of ref and trenchant comments, and A Polychronakos for useful questions.
Membranes and Consistent Quantization of Nambu Dynamics
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