Definition of pungent in English:



  • 1Having a sharply strong taste or smell.

    ‘the pungent smell of frying onions’
    • ‘Wandering among the ruins, there was the distinctive, pungent smell of death, as many bodies have yet to be discovered.’
    • ‘Mixed with the pungent smell of hay, I shall never forget it, ever!’
    • ‘If we just could get rid of the quite pungent smell of a sheep stable even after a good scrub it would be perfect.’
    • ‘A dark figure leant over him, and something with a strong, pungent smell was thrust into his face.’
    • ‘It's in what was once the spice area, known for its pungent and exotic smells.’
    • ‘The next thing was a pungent smell of burning plastic.’
    • ‘Alison could see the yellowish stained teeth and the pungent smell of cigars and liquor was in his breath from a bar most likely.’
    • ‘A pungent odour can be smelt far from the factory and the hill facing the chimney is bare.’
    • ‘The pungent smell of burnt wood and a powerful odor of sweat saturated the very walls of the shop.’
    • ‘The air possessed a pungent, acrid smell because the cigarette had burned through a filter stub in the overflowing ashtray.’
    • ‘The pungent smell of petrol at service stations will soon be a thing of the past under government plans to force retailers to cut cancer-causing fumes.’
    • ‘Most of the world's humans are accustomed to the pungent smell of body odor.’
    • ‘It's still warm and the pungent, cloying, smell of incinerated tree still fills the air, 36 hours on.’
    • ‘Stepping out of the wooden portals, your nostrils are assailed by the pungent smell of leaf-wrapped dosai.’
    • ‘He awoke again with a start to the pungent smell of burning silicon wafting in the air.’
    • ‘Nothing but the stench of fear to show for his presence, a pungent lingering smell that slides down the back of your throat like tar.’
    • ‘After four days, the beer however deteriorates and develops a vinegary and pungent smell and taste.’
    • ‘In all copious amounts of alcohol are consumed and the pungent smell of marijuana wafts through the air.’
    • ‘Raw ginger has a refreshing smell and a pungent taste that most people like.’
    • ‘However, in our laboratory a strong pungent smell had been noticed in the morning, after overnight sterilization.’
    strong, powerful, pervasive, penetrating, suffocating, stifling
    sour, acid, biting, bitter, tart, vinegary, tangy
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    1. 1.1(of comment, criticism, or humour) having a sharp and caustic quality.
      ‘he has expressed some fairly pungent criticisms’
      • ‘Bambooque's criticism is sharp and pungent, but without being limited to the leader.’
      • ‘She has some pungent comments about the spineless response to terrorism.’
      • ‘His criticism could be pungent, he rarely praised, but instilled respect for the language he loved.’
      • ‘Enjoying stardom while shrewdly aware of its unreality, she was accessible, loyal, generous, with a pungent sense of humour.’
      • ‘The frescoes show his racy handling of narrative and his pungent characterization.’
      • ‘Fortunately his blog is still there to read and enjoy his sardonic, pungent wit - although it does seem to be growing mold.’
      • ‘Mencken was a controversial satirical journalist and pungent critic of American life.’
      • ‘The Duke of Norfolk, in the next row, offered pungent comments about one or two of them.’
      • ‘He was a pungent, if inevitably covert, critic of Nazism, a discerning analyst of the ills of our age and our best hope of a cure for them.’
      caustic, biting, trenchant, cutting, acerbic, sardonic, sarcastic, scathing, acrimonious, pointed, barbed, acid, sharp, keen, tart, stinging, astringent, incisive, devastating, piercing, penetrating, rapier-like, razor-edged, critical, bitter, polemic, virulent, vitriolic, venomous, waspish, corrosive, mordant, stringent
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Late 16th century (in the sense ‘very painful or distressing’): from Latin pungent- pricking, from the verb pungere.