Dictionary Meaning and Definition on 'Piquant'
- having an agreeably pungent taste [syn: savory, savoury, spicy, zesty]
- engagingly stimulating or provocative; "a piquant wit"; "salty language" [syn: salty]
- attracting or delighting; "an engaging frankness"; "a piquant face with large appealing eyes" [syn: engaging]
- Piquant \Pi"quant\, a. [F., p. pr. of piquer to prick or sting.
Stimulating to the taste; giving zest; tart; sharp; pungent;
as, a piquant anecdote. ``As piquant to the tongue as salt.''
--Addison. ``Piquant railleries.'' --Gov. of Tongue.
Wikipedia Meaning and Definition on 'Piquant'
Piquance or piquancy (also referred to as hotness, pungence, raciness, spiciness, or the condition of something being spicy hot) is a type of pungence specific to the sense of taste. The (originally French) word piquant is cognate with the Spanish and Portuguese word picante, which carries the same meaning. In Asian countries within the sphere of mainly Chinese, Indian and Japanese cultural influence, it has traditionally been considered a sixth basic taste.
Use of the word "piquance" eliminates potential lingual ambiguity arising from overlap in meaning with the words "hot" and "spicy" which usually requires a determination or assumption of meaning based on context.
Instead of "hot" simply referring to temperature, and "spicy" being used to refer to the presence of spices (many of which are not actually piquant), the former two words are often used as synonyms for the latter, a word less commonly employed in reference to the characteristic which in regards to taste it solely defines.[See more about Piquant at Dictionary 3.0 Encyclopedia]
Words and phrases related to 'Piquant'