• Vigorous or incisive in expression or style.
  • (Of a weapon or tool) Having a sharp edge.

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Example Sentences

“The professor’s trenchant critique discouraged her so much, she considered dropping the class.”

“The keynote speaker’s delivery was so trenchant that people lined up afterward to shake her hand.”

“The candidate offered trenchant proposals, which invigorated the crowd of voters.”

Word Origin

Old French, early 14th century

Why this word?

“Trenchant” is often used to describe commentary or criticism. If you have a trenchant delivery, you’re known for your biting wit. You’d be in good company with the likes of Oscar Wilde, Joan Rivers, and Jon Stewart. An obsolete definition of “trenchant” means physically having a sharp blade. While the adjective is now used in a more figurative sense, a powerful, trenchant remark can still leave wounds. 

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