Definition of piquant in English:

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Pronunciation: /ˈpēkənt/
Pronunciation: /ˈpēkänt/


1Having a pleasantly sharp taste or appetizing flavor.
Example sentences
  • Herbs and spices add a piquant taste that ketchup can't match.
  • This cheese usually has tangy, piquant, spicy and peppery flavor.
  • I've had this several times before and it has always been superb, a tasty combination of sweet and piquant flavours.
spicy, tangy, peppery, hot;
tasty, flavorful, appetizing, savory;
pungent, sharp, tart, zesty, strong, salty
1.1Pleasantly stimulating or exciting to the mind.
Example sentences
  • Milton Hatoum transports us to a magical boomtown, full of shimmering light, tropical colour and piquant incident.
  • It consists of large, wall-painted versions of his witty or piquant statements, realised in a variety of typefaces and colours.
  • It may be of piquant interest that The Fourth Wall uses the conceit of a parallel between the heroine and Shaw's Saint Joan, a device currently put to infinitely better use in Lanford Wilson's Book of Days.
intriguing, stimulating, interesting, fascinating, colorful, exciting, lively;
spicy, provocative, racy
informal juicy



Pronunciation: /ˈpēk(w)əntlē/
Example sentences
  • In this well-written, lively, evocative memoir, she has produced a work that is as piquantly entertaining as her rasam recipe.
  • Sillito and the Academy give the agile and melting Petri excellent support, and while the engineering is warm, it allows the piquantly penetrating characters of the recorders to come through.
  • What piquantly captured the imagination of each, from competitor to consumer-to straw boss to newly outsourced consultant, was how all-inclusive the bench warrant was.


Early 16th century (in the sense 'severe, bitter'): from French, literally 'stinging, pricking', present participle of piquer.

For editors and proofreaders

Syllabification: pi·quant

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