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The Collaborative International Dictionary

Poignancy \Poign"an*cy\, n. The quality or state of being poignant; as, the poignancy of satire; the poignancy of grief.

Douglas Harper's Etymology Dictionary

1680s, "sharpness, keenness," from poignant + -cy.


n. The quality of being poignant

  1. n. a state of deeply felt distress or sorrow; "a moment of extraordinary poignancy" [syn: poignance]

  2. a quality that arouses emotions (especially pity or sorrow); "the film captured all the pathos of their situation" [syn: pathos]

Usage examples of "poignancy".

And his own child was being born: the thought danced with new poignancy to the frontlines of consciousness.

For Dartie himself was in capital form, and talked freely, with a certain poignancy, being no fool.

Certainly the man who created these figures with such subtle poignancy understood what it was to be a father and to feel frustration with a beloved son who did not quite meet his expectations.

Here art and restraint in narrative reach their very highest development, and an impression of lasting poignancy is produced without a single strained passage or a single false note.

Except for a poignancy instilled by time and death that marked its brotherhood creators as mortal, the currents ran similar to the ghostly, faded harmonies left imprinted upon the land by the mysteries of the vanished Paravians.

But as it was, her own sleepless journey reminded her of the tasks of Psyche in the Greek myth, a story Lucien had once told her, at the Luxembourg Gardens, and which had retained for her ever after the shattering poignancy of that time.

But each, unfortunately, was too much: too much poignancy dulled the taste, and too much sugar was sickening.

These things are on the horizon and advancing, but they only serve to add the spice of poignancy to the taste of simpler values.

The poignancy becomes melancholy, then runs straight on through sentiment to nostalgia.

I knew too well the importance she attached to her fair fame not to guess that she was tormented with the idea that the terrible widow knew of the understanding between us, and the thought added fresh poignancy to my sorrow.

In fact, the light dazzling between the saplings gave the moment a powerful poignancy as she tossed her clothes aside and stood, as slender as a taper.

The terrible violence that had radiated from the Whistler but moments ago was gone utterly and his voice held such poignancy that to have interrupted would have been like a gratuitous cruelty.

Eddie missed the twenty-first century with excruciating poignancy, and memories of food had a tendency to bring them on.

I will educate the surface dwellers in the poignancy of true horror, a skill at which I am a unparalleled.

Was it, perhaps, just that little lack in her--that lack of poignancy, which had prevented her from becoming a mother?