Definition of piquant in US English:



  • 1Having a pleasantly sharp taste or appetizing flavor.

    • ‘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 salmon came with finely chopped egg and a sharp piquant sauce with horseradish base and was simply excellent.’
    • ‘Meanwhile, revisit Couchwarmer and taste the original piquant recipe.’
    • ‘Mezzaluna ravioli hosts the piquant gaminess of braised rabbit, unhistrionically set against roasted parsnips, a quick blast of mint, and tomato.’
    • ‘The spinach soup had a deep, dark colour, and was flavoured with the strong, piquant, earthy spices of Kerala.’
    • ‘I've had this several times before and it has always been superb, a tasty combination of sweet and piquant flavours.’
    • ‘Both cheeses deliver a rich, piquant taste, and each is also offered in a variety of sizes and forms.’
    • ‘"The toast was overdone, but the chicken had a piquant flavour, " he said.’
    • ‘The duck was very pleasant and the sauce piquant, as orange sauces should be.’
    • ‘Assorted breads, piquant sauces and fine African wines accompany it.’
    • ‘These cookies may look down-home, but with a kick of pungent molasses and piquant ginger, they're really very sophisticated.’
    • ‘Herbs and spices add a piquant taste that ketchup can't match.’
    • ‘‘The toast was overdone, but the chicken had a piquant flavour,’ he said.’
    • ‘This cheese usually has tangy, piquant, spicy and peppery flavor.’
    • ‘They add a sharp, pungent flavour to dishes with a piquant base.’
    • ‘The fresh pesto sauce added a lovely piquant flavour.’
    • ‘The duck was lovely and the pork, apricot and Stilton stuffing gave a piquant twist to the flavour.’
    • ‘It had a piquant flavour all its own and really made the dish.’
    • ‘Madame judged her fish as excellent and the potato salad was piquant and very tasty.’
    spicy, tangy, spiced, peppery, hot
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    1. 1.1 Pleasantly stimulating or exciting to the mind.
      • ‘Stocking four flavours of dishy, piquant womanhood, it treated the audience to one tasty conundrum after another.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘Because self-improvement tastes best with a piquant little sprinkle of something self-defeating on top.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘The Dance of the Sugar Plum Fairy was given a piquant performance, proving itself a wonderful display piece for a grand pipe organ.’
      • ‘Not only is the flavouring piquant but the structure of the movements and the material in development sturdy and, for us, rewarding to absorb.’
      • ‘The album begins promisingly with ‘Built for Sin,’ a short instrumental with menacing, skulking riffs, and Carcass-style piquant harmonies.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘It consists of large, wall-painted versions of his witty or piquant statements, realised in a variety of typefaces and colours.’
      • ‘Perhaps the most piquant recent occult comparisons have come in more subtle and complex (and sometimes unintentional) shades.’
      • ‘Milton Hatoum transports us to a magical boomtown, full of shimmering light, tropical colour and piquant incident.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘Les Noces is one of the Ballets Russes’ most piquant works.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘As could be expected, Newman editorialized in NewsNotes with characteristically tangy opinions, sharp observations, and piquant commentary.’
      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.