Definition of trenchant in English:

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Pronunciation: /ˈtrɛn(t)ʃ(ə)nt/


1Vigorous or incisive in expression or style: the White Paper makes trenchant criticisms of health authorities
More example sentences
  • From the early 1920s, the ‘New Realism’ of Grosz, Otto Dix, and Christian Schad expressed a trenchant social criticism comparable with the plays of Bertolt Brecht.
  • So, in the spirit of giving till it hurts, let me offer up to the least deserving of us my annual scathingly incisive yet perennially trenchant.
  • A quiet and generally even tempered man, he could be and was trenchant in his criticisms as the occasion demanded.
incisive, cutting, pointed, piercing, penetrating, sharp, keen, acute, razor-sharp, razor-edged, rapier-like;
vigorous, forceful, strong, telling, emphatic, forthright, blunt;
biting, stinging, mordant, pungent, scathing, caustic, acid, tart, acerbic, astringent, sarcastic;
devastating, savage, fierce, searing, blistering, withering;
North American  acerb
rare mordacious, acidulous
2 archaic or literary (Of a weapon or tool) having a sharp edge: a trenchant blade



Pronunciation: /ˈtrɛn(t)ʃ(ə)nsi/
sense 1.
Example sentences
  • Clarity of thoughts, trenchancy of wisdom, intellectual talents, creativity and prudence arouse automatically in the Sädhaka as he matures in the Sädhanä.
  • ‘Lord Butler's vote of confidence in John Scarlett's suitability as the next Chief of the Secret Intelligence Service is a testimony to the fair-mindedness, as well as the rigour and trenchancy, of his criticisms,’ Sir Paul said.
  • Despite these virtues, it, to my mind, offers metrical competence without ever bringing a vividness, pathos, or trenchancy to its subject matter.


Pronunciation: /ˈtrɛn(t)ʃ(ə)ntli/
sense 1.
Example sentences
  • From a 29-year-old who described himself as ‘not a saintly person’ it argued, clearly and trenchantly, against the present feeding frenzy on the Catholic Church and its clergy.
  • Historians trenchantly point out that the American West was opened up less by the rugged individualism of homesteaders than the massive commitment of industry, capital and federal power, to say nothing of Chinese indentured labour.
  • What they seem to have concluded is that however trenchantly they dislike what the waging of war does to the functionality and even the perceived quality of their democracy, they will not side with the appeasers, whom they distrust more.


Middle English (in sense 2): from Old French, literally 'cutting', present participle of trenchier (see trench).

Words that rhyme with trenchant

consentient, sentient

For editors and proofreaders

Line breaks: tren|chant

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