painful origins of poignant

Yesterday someone told me something that I thought was quite poignant. To make sure I was spelling it correctly, I looked it up on and the meaning is a bit different than what I thought.

Poignant was always to me a more joyful and wonderful adjective. What’s surprising is the painful origins for this word. The first first meaning is “Physically painful.” I’ve always thought of it being somethign from 1c. “Profoundly moving.” Like when someone makes an excellent point that really drives home. Which I guess really is like the “to prick”. Pricking… driving a POINT.

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Tom Saaristo
19 years ago

Definition-a-day desk calendars are fun and educational, maybe you’ll want to add one to your Christmas Wish List :”>

19 years ago

Never knew. My experience with the word: I generally read/hear the word being used to describe a moment in a positive way and in a negative way when describing a smell. A poignant moment is usually good, whereas a poignant smell is usually bad. FWIW. Tom, I think has a word-a-day emails for free!

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