Part of speech: adjective
Origin: Middle English, 13th century
Being sharp, intense, and forceful
Characterized by energy and effectiveness
Examples of Trenchant in a sentence
"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."
Popularity Over Time
Trenchant is often used to describe commentary or criticism. If you have a trenchant delivery, you’re known for your biting wit. You’ll be in good company with the likes of Oscar Wilde, Joan Rivers, and Jon Stewart.
Did you Know?
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.