Definition of piquancy in English:



  • 1[mass noun] A pleasantly sharp and appetizing flavour; spiciness.

    ‘the tangy soy dip gave them a slightly Asian piquancy’
    • ‘Blushers will add a touch of piquancy to a dish of milder mushrooms.’
    • ‘It was not fiery, as the chilli was used only to add a hint of piquancy.’
    • ‘A few chopped gherkins, capers, or chillies will give the required piquancy.’
    • ‘The salsa, which I expected to give the rest of the ingredients a spicy kick up the backside, had no piquancy whatsoever.’
    • ‘On the whole, food is, in general, bland but the use of various hot and spicy pickles and chutneys with the rice adds flavour and piquancy.’
    • ‘It was warming and nourishing - though perhaps lacking the piquancy that would have lifted it above the merely satisfying.’
    • ‘And the briny piquancy of the broths that hold together his risotto with razor clams or bucatini with lobster make the addition of seafood to both dishes almost unnecessary.’
    • ‘Leave aside for other occasions the finesse of nouvelle cuisine, or the delicate freshness and piquancy of sushi.’
    • ‘The chicken breast "al limone" was a very subtle taste, with a clean, smooth lemon sauce adding piquancy to the dish.’
    • ‘Piquancy is something I value in a fish recipe, especially when that fish is one of the oily varieties such as tuna, herring or, my favourite, mackerel.’
    • ‘A simple, fairly healthy, fairly nutritious meal combining the smooth mild flavour of chicken rice with the piquancy of the Thai beef salad.’
    • ‘After discussing all this and trying his pickled tomatoes and cucumbers, (the radiation lent an added piquancy)’
    • ‘It has a streak of nut and lime piquancy and a touch of crispness at the finish.’
    • ‘Kosher salt is the key to the steak's flavor and piquancy.’
    • ‘Bush tomatoes have an intense, earthy-tomato and caramel flavor of great piquancy and pungency.’
    • ‘Five splashes of Tabasco were added to each person's plate, increasing the piquancy of the already spicy chili.’
    • ‘The flying fish and prawns, both tasted excellent au natural, but the tangy soy dip gave them a slightly Asian piquancy - delicious.’
    • ‘Taste for piquancy, and add more cayenne and black pepper if you like.’
    • ‘The slightly spicy sauce with the lime butter piquancy certainly paid off with this dish.’
    • ‘The onions and feta added a touch of piquancy and sharpness overall making this salad my favourite dish of the evening.’
    spiciness, tang, spice, tastiness, savouriness, pungency, edge, sharpness, tartness, pepperiness, saltiness, bite, zest
    interest, fascination, excitement, vigour, vitality, liveliness, spirit, colour, sparkle, zest, spice, spiciness, sharpness, raciness, saltiness, provocativeness, bite, edge
    View synonyms
    1. 1.1The quality of being pleasantly stimulating or exciting; interest.
      ‘the tragedy only adds piquancy to the tale’
      • ‘That the latter two were innocent yet still condemned to take a fall adds piquancy to the tale.’
      • ‘The assessment suggests that, were his new team, on the way up, to pass his old on the way down, it would add piquancy to his success.’
      • ‘The couple's angst will have added piquancy.’
      • ‘Given Microsoft's recent legal history, the piquancy is quite delicious, even without Disappearing becoming an eServices partner.’
      • ‘How Grace helps Bernice to deal with family tragedy gives this narrative emotional heft and piquancy.’
      • ‘The piquancy of such jokes lay in the suspicion that at some time and place, inevitably, the funny event would have happened in reality.’
      • ‘These remarks are all the more moving because they have the piquancy of voyeurism: they were never meant for us.’
      • ‘And the events of that terrorist super-Tuesday also give a nearly unbearable piquancy to old pictures of New York.’
      • ‘You should be feeling your way towards the level of piquancy you want.’
      • ‘It was not always that one could understand the broad Scotch brogue, but that lent a piquancy to the situation.’
      • ‘That many of the participants have endured their share of tragedy only adds piquancy to the tale.’
      • ‘But it has the same class, aromatic piquancy, and absence of jargon in treating so specialised a theme.’
      • ‘Notice the purity of the opening, the piquancy of the birdcalls, the unfussy phrasing of the main theme.’
      • ‘Indeed, because of suffering the joys contain a special piquancy, a reminder that in the end God is good and wants the good for us.’
      • ‘The drama wants more painting, and for the present day, more piquancy.’
      • ‘Cultural differences are indeed the making of us, adding a little tussle and piquancy to a relationship.’
      • ‘This, combined with a lack of self - consciousness, is what gives the diary its piquancy and constant freshness.’
      • ‘It's no surprise either that the Hollywood version lacks the style and piquancy of the original.’
      • ‘The pulsating syncopations of the first movement of the Beethoven conveyed bite, and there was piquancy to the march-like second theme exchanged across the duo.’
      • ‘The royal element of the performance adds an extra piquancy to proceedings, especially during the shake-and-fake line-up between the stars and the monarchy.’