Definition of piquant in English:



  • 1Having a pleasantly sharp taste or appetizing flavour.

    ‘a piquant tartare sauce’
    • ‘I've had this several times before and it has always been superb, a tasty combination of sweet and piquant flavours.’
    • ‘‘The toast was overdone, but the chicken had a piquant flavour,’ he said.’
    • ‘They add a sharp, pungent flavour to dishes with a piquant base.’
    • ‘The duck was very pleasant and the sauce piquant, as orange sauces should be.’
    • ‘Both cheeses deliver a rich, piquant taste, and each is also offered in a variety of sizes and forms.’
    • ‘The salmon came with finely chopped egg and a sharp piquant sauce with horseradish base and was simply excellent.’
    • ‘It had a piquant flavour all its own and really made the dish.’
    • ‘Meanwhile, revisit Couchwarmer and taste the original piquant recipe.’
    • ‘The spinach soup had a deep, dark colour, and was flavoured with the strong, piquant, earthy spices of Kerala.’
    • ‘"The toast was overdone, but the chicken had a piquant flavour, " he said.’
    • ‘Mezzaluna ravioli hosts the piquant gaminess of braised rabbit, unhistrionically set against roasted parsnips, a quick blast of mint, and tomato.’
    • ‘Assorted breads, piquant sauces and fine African wines accompany it.’
    • ‘This cheese usually has tangy, piquant, spicy and peppery flavor.’
    • ‘Herbs and spices add a piquant taste that ketchup can't match.’
    • ‘These cookies may look down-home, but with a kick of pungent molasses and piquant ginger, they're really very sophisticated.’
    • ‘The fresh pesto sauce added a lovely piquant flavour.’
    • ‘Madame judged her fish as excellent and the potato salad was piquant and very tasty.’
    • ‘However, despite the pain and fearful reactions by some, it is possible to create and balance flavors in piquant foods.’
    • ‘The salted eggs added a lovely, piquant flavour.’
    • ‘The duck was lovely and the pork, apricot and Stilton stuffing gave a piquant twist to the flavour.’
    spicy, tangy, spiced, peppery, hot
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    1. 1.1 Pleasantly stimulating or exciting to the mind.
      • ‘Perhaps the most piquant recent occult comparisons have come in more subtle and complex (and sometimes unintentional) shades.’
      • ‘This experience was on display in a lithe, nicely proportioned performance of the Overture to Rossini's L' Italiana in Algeri (with a piquant oboe solo by Melanie Feld).’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘Les Noces is one of the Ballets Russes’ most piquant works.’
      • ‘A bracing fusion of austere synth-rock and piquant pottymouth, The Teaches of Peaches resonated with punks, gays, electroclash devotees, indie kids, feminists and anyone who got off on really raunchy beats.’
      • ‘The album begins promisingly with ‘Built for Sin,’ a short instrumental with menacing, skulking riffs, and Carcass-style piquant harmonies.’
      • ‘And when the boy playing Raoul began to romance me - or, at least, my character - I focussed on his piquant, if somewhat annoying, courting and pushed the problem out of my mind.’
      • ‘Stocking four flavours of dishy, piquant womanhood, it treated the audience to one tasty conundrum after another.’
      • ‘As could be expected, Newman editorialized in NewsNotes with characteristically tangy opinions, sharp observations, and piquant commentary.’
      • ‘The Dance of the Sugar Plum Fairy was given a piquant performance, proving itself a wonderful display piece for a grand pipe organ.’
      • ‘One might expect McQuade to render a piquant gendered fiction, a story of aesthetically pluralistic feminist intervention, a ‘swerving’ into the genealogies of our fathers.’
      • ‘It consists of large, wall-painted versions of his witty or piquant statements, realised in a variety of typefaces and colours.’
      • ‘Building on Comden and Green's piquant words, Bernstein has given us an immortal score, making all others on today's Broadway calling themselves musicals look like the pygmies they are.’
      • ‘Milton Hatoum transports us to a magical boomtown, full of shimmering light, tropical colour and piquant incident.’
      • ‘I have often found that triangle an irritant and tend to avoid this concerto, but here it gives a delicate and piquant touch to the orchestral sonority, instead of asserting itself as an obbligato second soloist.’
      • ‘All in all, this is a good middle of the road recording whose flavoring is more sweet than piquant, and whose intention is more to please than to inspire.’
      • ‘Not only is the flavouring piquant but the structure of the movements and the material in development sturdy and, for us, rewarding to absorb.’
      • ‘Because self-improvement tastes best with a piquant little sprinkle of something self-defeating on top.’
      intriguing, stimulating, interesting, fascinating, colourful, exciting, arresting, lively, sparkling, spirited, witty, spicy, provocative, racy, salty
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Early 16th century (in the sense ‘severe, bitter’): from French, literally ‘stinging, pricking’, present participle of piquer.