American English

Definition of pungent adjective from the Oxford Advanced American Dictionary



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  1. 1having a strong taste or smell the pungent smell of burning rubber The air was pungent with the smell of spices. Thesaurusbittersour pungent sharp acidic tartThese words all describe a strong, unpleasant taste or smell.bitter (of a taste or smell) strong and usually unpleasant; (of food or drink) having a bitter taste.sour (of a taste) like the taste of a lemon or of fruit that is not ripe; (of food or drink) having a sour taste:Too much pulp produces a sour wine.pungent (of a taste or smell) very strong, like the taste or smell of garlic or mustard:the pungent taste of onionssharp (of a taste or smell) strong and biting; (of food or drink) having a sharp taste:He prefers a very sharp cheddar cheese.acidic (of a taste) bitter, like the taste of lemons or vinegar; (of food or drink) having an acidic taste.tart sour, but often in a pleasant way:The lemon pie is both sweet and slightly tart.which word?A bitter taste is usually unpleasant, but some people enjoy the bitter flavor of coffee or chocolate. No other word can describe this flavor. A sharp or pungent flavor is very strong and sometimes unpleasant; these words are used especially to describe cheese. Sour and acidic both describe the taste of a lemon or a fruit that is not ripe.Patterns a(n) bitter/sour/pungent/sharp/acidic/tart taste/flavor a bitter/pungent/sharp smell/odor a bitter/sour/sharp/tart fruit pungent/sharp cheese
  2. 2direct and having a strong effect pungent criticism
noun [uncountable]
adverb the pungently aromatic scent of cloves
See the Oxford Advanced Learner's Dictionary entry: pungent