Definitions

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. The state of being pungent.
  • n. A foul odor.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. The quality or state of being pungent or piercing; keenness; sharpness; piquancy.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. Pungent character or quality; the power of sharply affecting the taste or smell; keenness; sharpness; tartness; causticity.
  • n. Synonyms Poignancy, acridness, pointedness.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • n. wit having a sharp and caustic quality
  • n. a strong odor or taste property

Etymologies

pungent +‎ -cy (Wiktionary)

Examples

  • They and a handful of other spices—ginger, mustard, horseradish, wasabi—are especially valued for a quality often called hotness, but best called pungency: neither a taste nor a smell, but a general feeling of irritation that verges on pain.

    On Food and Cooking, The Science and Lore of the Kitchen

  • This keeps the spice from scorching; scorched Sichuan peppercorns have an acrid, bitter pungency which is less than salutary.

    Tigers & Strawberries » My Precious

  • Through that view-medium of misfortune—of a noble spirit in low environments, and of a squalid and premature death—we view the undoubted facts, (giving, as we read them now, a sad kind of pungency,) that Burns’s were, before all else, the lyrics of illicit loves and carousing intoxication.

    Robert Burns as Poet and Person. November Boughs

  • Through that view-medium of misfortune -- of a noble spirit in low environments, and of a squalid and premature death -- we view the undoubted facts, (giving, as we read them now, a sad kind of pungency,) that Burns's were, before all else, the lyrics of illicit loves and carousing intoxication.

    November Boughs ; from Complete Poetry and Collected Prose

  • (giving, as we read them now, a sad kind of pungency,) that Burns's were, before all else, the lyrics of illicit loves and carousing intoxication.

    Complete Prose Works Specimen Days and Collect, November Boughs and Goodbye My Fancy

  • Mustard greens, which are exactly in same family, has much, much more pungency, so it is kind of a spectrum of strengths.

    Harold McGee's 'Keys To Good Cooking' For Chefs

  • Written with a pungency largely absent in Indian public discourse, the cables capture with startling verisimilitude the freewheeling political culture of the world's largest democracy and second-fastest growing major economy.

    Corruption on Singh's Watch

  • I recently heard a commencement speech by critic James Wood in which he lamented the loss of pungency from our lives—so much is now sanitized or hidden away from the public eye—and exhorted would-be writers to search deep in their imaginations for the primary details that animate prose and poetry.

    Notable & Quotable

  • To balance out its pungency, eat some breath-freshening parsley.

    Maria Rodale: The 3 Best Spices for a Longer Life

  • The lavender uis a pleasant complement to the pungency of the bergamot.

    Daily Tea: April 3, 2010 | Tea Derivations

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