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Pungency

noun
1.
Wit having a sharp and caustic quality.  Synonym: bite.  "The bite of satire"
2.
A strong odor or taste property.  Synonyms: bite, raciness, sharpness.  "The sulfurous bite of garlic" , "The sharpness of strange spices" , "The raciness of the wine"






WordNet 3.0 © 2010 Princeton University








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"Pungency" Quotes from Famous Books



... national pride, Clay stood out as the most eminent statesman of his day, with unbounded popularity, especially in Kentucky, where to the last he retained his hold on popular admiration and affection. His speeches on the war are more marked for pungency of satire and bitterness of invective against England than for moral wisdom. They are appeals to passions rather than to reason, of great force in their day, but of not much value to posterity. They are not read and quoted like Webster's masterpieces. They will not ...
— Beacon Lights of History, Volume XII • John Lord

... his apartment he smoked a last cigarette, sitting in the dark by his open front window. For the first time in over a year he found himself thoroughly enjoying New York. There was a rare pungency in it certainly, a quality almost Southern. A lonesome town, though. He who had grown up alone had lately learned to avoid solitude. During the past several months he had been careful, when he had no engagement for the evening, to hurry to one of his clubs and ...
— The Beautiful and Damned • F. Scott Fitzgerald

... of meadowsweet and yellow flags in the pasture beyond. All this bubbling of sap and slipping of sheaths and bursting of calyxes was carried to her on mingled currents of fragrance. Every leaf and bud and blade seemed to contribute its exhalation to the pervading sweetness in which the pungency of pine-sap prevailed over the spice of thyme and the subtle perfume of fern, and all were merged in a moist earth-smell that was like the breath of some huge ...
— Summer • Edith Wharton

... held to be a Roland of sufficient pungency for de Vere's Oliver. Everyone laughed. And then the two youngsters betook themselves to a humorous puffing of the miscellaneous contents of the store: tulip-beds of gorgeous Crimean shirts, boots, books, tobacco, ...
— Shearing in the Riverina, New South Wales • Rolf Boldrewood

... us to think that he will end by being punished himself for the misdeeds of which he had accused the other. Puss's sly and artful expression, the ass-headed and important-looking judge, with the wand and costume of a high and mighty dignitary, give pungency to the story, and recall the daily scenes at the judgment-seat of the lord of Thebes. In another place we see a donkey, a lion, a crocodile, and a monkey giving an instrumental and ...
— History Of Egypt, Chaldaea, Syria, Babylonia, and Assyria, Volume 5 (of 12) • G. Maspero

... at Mrs. Leverett's reasoning, adding the pungency of her sniff. Betty's heart dropped like lead. True, she had not really counted ...
— A Little Girl in Old Boston • Amanda Millie Douglas

... that world is also imaginary. We have direct experience of our own lives alone; the lives of others can exist for us only in our thought about them. To be sure, our daily contact with the bodies of our friends and associates gives to this thought something of the pungency of self-knowledge; yet in absence, they live for us, as the characters in a novel, only in our thought. And the majority of the people, personally unknown to us, who make up our larger social world—and for most of us this includes the great ones ...
— The Principles Of Aesthetics • Dewitt H. Parker

... sunset beyond Dursley valley was very beautiful. It often was. Venus shone out with mellow brilliance a little to the right of the church. The air was full of bush scents, and somewhere, not far from where I stood, dead brushwood was burning and diffusing abroad the aromatic pungency that fire draws ...
— The Record of Nicholas Freydon - An Autobiography • A. J. (Alec John) Dawson

... were disgraceful in your own person to extinguish, whereas the ancestry of the state was ignoble and mean. This again is not so. Your father was a thief, [Footnote: This seems to shock Leland, who spoils the pungency of the expression, by rendering it: "Your father was like you, and therefore base and infamous." Auger remarks: "L'invective de Demosthene est fort eloquente, mais bien violente. L'amour de la patrie, contre laquelle sans doute agissait Aristodeme, peut seul en excuser la vivacite."] if ...
— The Olynthiacs and the Phillippics of Demosthenes • Demosthenes

... Mr. Barnes at dinner for the purpose of being introduced to him: an agreeable man enough, with evidently a vast deal of information, but his conversation bears no marks of that extraordinary vigour and pungency for which the articles in the ...
— The Greville Memoirs (Second Part) - A Journal of the Reign of Queen Victoria from 1837 to 1852 - (Volume 1 of 3) • Charles C. F. Greville

... wore green shirts with a bright yellow leopard over the heart, and C.F.C. woven in large letters about the chest. One or two of the outsides played in caps, and the team to a man criticized the referee's decisions with point and pungency. Unluckily, the first year saw a weak team of Austinians rather badly beaten, with the result that it became a point of honour to wipe this off the slate before the fixture could be cut out of the card. The next year was also unlucky. The Bargees managed to ...
— Tales of St. Austin's • P. G. Wodehouse

... agility is infinite; wherever it may be, the instant one goes to put his hand upon it, he is sure to find it or feel it somewhere else. The wit of Benedick, on the other hand, springs more from reflection, and grows with the growth of thought. With all the pungency, and nearly all the pleasantry of hers, it has less of spontaneous volubility. Hence in their skirmishes she always gets the better of him; hitting him so swiftly, and in so many spots, as to bewilder his aim. But he makes ample amends when out of ...
— Shakespeare: His Life, Art, And Characters, Volume I. • H. N. Hudson

... herbalist is a noun of multitude: it comprises several sorts, differing in kind but possessing the common properties of wholesomeness and pungency. Here "order in variety we see"; and here, "though all things differ, all agree." The name is thought by some to be derived from the Latin verb crescere, ...
— Herbal Simples Approved for Modern Uses of Cure • William Thomas Fernie

... took the hint, and, perceiving that I listened with friendly attention and interest, gave me a detailed narrative of his life since I had first made his acquaintance. He told his story with a spirit and military conciseness that riveted my attention as much as the real pungency of the incidents. Its first portion, relating to his London career, informed me of little beyond what I already knew, or, at least, had conjectured. It was the everyday tale of a heedless, inexperienced ...
— Tales from Blackwood, Volume 7 • Various

... not want for more essential graces. Very sprightly, very pretty and intelligent; not without piquancy and pungency: the King himself has been known to take tea with her in mixed society, though nothing more; and with passionate young gentlemen she was very successful. Not long after her coming to Berlin, she made conquest of Cocceji, the celebrated ...
— History of Friedrich II. of Prussia, Vol. XIV. (of XXI.) • Thomas Carlyle

... dislodge this phantom of a lower, profane reality, and accept its own visions as authentic and sufficient. The modern mind is in this sense less religious than the mediaeval, that the antithesis of phenomenal and real is less present to it. But the pungency of this antithesis comes from an imperfect realization of its meaning. Just so far as the subjection of the finite remains no longer a postulate or an aspiration, but is carried into effect,—its ...
— The Atlantic Monthly, Volume 13, No. 77, March, 1864 • Various

... fountain, fountain pen, the picture postcard, the umbrella, and the face-powder demonstrator had not yet invaded here. Isaac Neugass, Chemist—was just that. His walls were lined in labeled jars of panacea. The pungency of valerianate of ammonia smote the entrant. He pummeled his own pills, percolated his own paregoric, prescribed for neighborhood miseries from an invariable bottle that was slow, sluggish, and malodorous in the ...
— Star-Dust • Fannie Hurst

... organs of sense in a state of combination; it follows, that the ideas or sensual motions excited by them, are never received singly, but ever with a greater or less degree of combination. So the colours of bodies or their hardnesses occur with their figures: every smell and taste has its degree of pungency as well as its peculiar flavour: and each note in music is combined with the tone of some instrument. It appears from hence, that we can be sensible of a number of ideas at the same time, such as the whiteness, hardness, and coldness, of a snow-ball, and can experience at the same ...
— Zoonomia, Vol. I - Or, the Laws of Organic Life • Erasmus Darwin

... physical fact or not, whether in the natural realm it is possible for any forms of matter that have saline taste to lose it by any cause. That does not at all concern us. The point is that it is possible for us, who call ourselves—and are—Christians, to lose our penetrating pungency, which stays corruption; to lose all that distinguishes us from the men that ...
— Expositions of Holy Scripture - Ezekiel, Daniel, and the Minor Prophets. St Matthew Chapters I to VIII • Alexander Maclaren

... as to quality—The Lancet, in substance, reports that genuine Mustard will be as varied in strength, pungency, and flavour, as are the known differences between the finest and most inferior qualities of seed; it results, then, that genuine does ...
— A Plain Cookery Book for the Working Classes • Charles Elme Francatelli

... the costume the season demands. It was doubtless his chosen period. The gods smiled upon him then if ever. The time of the chase, the season of the buck and the doe, and of the ripening of all forest fruits; the time when all men are incipient hunters, when the first frosts have given pungency to the air, when to be abroad on the hills or in the woods is a delight that both old and young feel,—if the red aborigine ever had his summer of fullness and contentment, it must have been at this season, and it fitly bears ...
— A Year in the Fields • John Burroughs

... a most thorough realist, and herein is his strength. In him the comic is a vehicle for satire; and the satire gives pungency and body to the comic. He was primarily a satirist, secondarily a poet. Such being his powers and his aims, helpful to him, nay, needful, was a present Parisian actuality of story and agents. A poetic comedy ought to be, and will necessarily be, a chapter of ...
— Essays AEsthetical • George Calvert

... all. From a boarding-school, a black-board, a piano, and Clementi's Sonatinas, the child had made a rash adventure upon life in the company of a half-bred hawbuck; and she was already not only regretting it, but expressing her regret with point and pungency. ...
— St Ives • Robert Louis Stevenson

... effect in promoting their efficacy. Mansion and man are large alike, and alike overflowing with hospitality and kindliness. His original and poignant conversation is so joyous and good-humored, the making every body happy is so evidently his predominant taste, that the pungency only adds to the flavor of his talk, and never casts a moment's ...
— The International Magazine, Volume 2, No. 2, January, 1851 • Various

... now. The young man's gestures became more vigorous. The dogged look on Beale's face deepened. The comments of the ring increased in point and pungency. ...
— Love Among the Chickens - A Story of the Haps and Mishaps on an English Chicken Farm • P. G. Wodehouse

... than usual, a whim seized the company to write epitaphs on him, as "The late Dr. Goldsmith," and several were thrown off in a playful vein, hitting off his peculiarities. The only one extant was written by Garrick, and has been preserved, very probably, by its pungency: ...
— Oliver Goldsmith • Washington Irving

... inferior workman, it is in danger of becoming flat, pointless, and insipid: and Horace has many passages which, if not flat, pointless, or insipid in themselves, are painfully liable to become so in the hands of a translator. I have accordingly on various occasions aimed at epigram and pungency when there was nothing epigrammatic or pungent in the Latin, in full confidence that any trifling additions which may be made in this way to the general sum of liveliness will be far more than compensated by the heavy outgoings which must of necessity be the ...
— The Satires, Epistles, and Art of Poetry • Horace

... wood. It was growing at the upper part of the creek on which we were encamped last night. Its fruit was two inches in diameter, with longitudinal ribs, scarlet red, and very eatable when dropt from the tree, but when gathered on the tree, it had an aromatic pungency. This tree was very common along the well watered creeks of Arnheim's Land; particularly along the South Alligator River, and at Raffles Bay. Brown brought from the same locality a Melastoma, which, according to him, was a shrub, three or ...
— Journal of an Overland Expedition in Australia • Ludwig Leichhardt

... inspiration." He had called her "Mademoiselle" too; could anything be more charming? Nothing save his accent itself,—a trick of the tongue, an intonation ever so slightly alien that addressed her ear just as some perfume's rich but smothered pungency might address the nose. Yes, the first stage in her apotheosis was an undoubted success. All that was needed now was her translation from black and white to colour. Well, the chariot was ready to take her ...
— Under the Skylights • Henry Blake Fuller

... pitch of disconsideration that (except yourself, dear fellow) I do not know a soul that I can face. My subordinates themselves have turned upon me. What language have I heard to-day, what illiberality of sentiment, what pungency of expression! She came once; I could have pardoned that, for she was moved; but she returned, returned to announce to me this crushing blow; and, Somerset, she was very inhumane. Yes, dear fellow, I have drunk a bitter cup; the speech of females is remarkable ...
— The Works of Robert Louis Stevenson - Swanston Edition Vol. 5 (of 25) • Robert Louis Stevenson

... mind and purpose; her dislike of dinginess; her toleration of arrogance when it is high-bred. Such qualities do not help her, for all her spare, clean movement, to achieve the march or rush of narrative; such qualities, for all her satiric pungency, do not bring her into sympathy with the sturdy or burly or homely, or with the broader aspects of comedy.... So great is her self-possession that she holds criticism at arm's length, somewhat as her ...
— Contemporary American Literature - Bibliographies and Study Outlines • John Matthews Manly and Edith Rickert

... loose beams laid from the pavement to the cart, and to time their efforts they shouted or chanted noisily—much to Keith's joy and the disgust of his mother. On such occasions the air of the lane was apt to take on a special pungency, and as he sniffed it, he would have a sensation of mixed pleasure and revulsion. At other times when the carts stopped in front of the warehouse below the distillery, odours of an exclusively enjoyable character ...
— The Soul of a Child • Edwin Bjorkman

... When the familiar pungency of her boarding-house flowed in and round Mrs. Violet Smith, she paused for a moment and could not push through the oppression. Then, with the associations of odor crowding in about her, she stripped herself of ...
— Every Soul Hath Its Song • Fannie Hurst

... 100 crowns for his use, with advice to "give them in NATURA, lest he refuse otherwise;" as Friedrich knows to be possible. In words, the Rousseau Notes got nothing of Answer. "A GARCON SINGULIER," says Friedrich: odd fellow, yes indeed, your Majesty;—and has such a pungency of flattery in him too, presented in the way of snarl! His Majesty might take him, I suppose, with a kind of ...
— History of Friedrich II. of Prussia, Vol. XXI. (of XXI.) • Thomas Carlyle

... similarity—but only in so far as the external form is concerned—discoverable in those short-stories which are as abundant as they are important in every modern literature; and yet much of our delight in these brief studies from life is due to the pungency of their local flavor, whether they were written by Kjelland or by Sacher-Masoch, by Auerbach or by Daudet, by Barrie or by Bret Harte. "All can grow the flower now, for all have got the seed"; but the blossoms are ...
— Inquiries and Opinions • Brander Matthews

... that child grows up, unprovided for by you in its early life; and profligacy mark his pathway, and demon guilt throw its chains around him in the prison cell; and he trace back the beginning of his ruin to your unfaithfulness, oh, with what pungency would the reflection send the pang of remorse to ...
— The Christian Home • Samuel Philips

... Thanksgiving dinner at the Foster house, though others put it down to sheer, reckless mischief. And today, as he made his fire between two stones—a smoldering, evil-smelling fire of sagebrush—the smoke kept running up his clothes and choking his lungs with its pungency. And the fat bacon which he cut turned his stomach. At last he sat down, forgetting the bacon in the pan, forgetting the long fast and the hard ride which had preceded this meal, and ...
— Way of the Lawless • Max Brand

... single inch of the pasture but would have fallen under the eye of some one of them. It was a most tedious business, not more than half a dozen shoots of garlic being discoverable in the whole field; yet such was the herb's pungency that probably one bite of it by one cow had been sufficient to season the whole dairy's ...
— Tess of the d'Urbervilles - A Pure Woman • Thomas Hardy

... was introduced and supplanted it. This berry is naturally much larger and sweeter, and better adapted to the English climate, than our Virginiana. Hence the English strawberries of to-day surpass ours in these respects, but are wanting in that aromatic pungency that characterizes ...
— Locusts and Wild Honey • John Burroughs

... species of vinagrilla, about the size of a billiard ball, which grows in dry and sterile soil. The natives chew it, and throw it into a wooden mortar, where it is left to ferment, some leaves of tobacco being added to give it pungency. They consume it in this form, sometimes with slices of peyote itself, in their most solemn festivities, although it dulls the intellect and induces gloomy and hurtful ...
— Nagualism - A Study in Native American Folk-lore and History • Daniel G. Brinton

... anything whatever in his life properly, his futilities were extensive and thorough. At one time he nearly gave up his classes for intensive culture, so enamoured was he of its possibilities; the peculiar pungency of the manure he got, in pursuit of a chemical theory of his own, has scarred my olfactory memories for a lifetime. The intensive culture phase is very clear in my memory; it came near the end of his career and ...
— The New Machiavelli • Herbert George Wells

... his supper, and darkness came on. Stonor loved travelling at night, and the unknown trail added a zest to this ride. The night world was as quiet as a room. Where one can see less one feels more. The scents of night hung heavy on the still air; the pungency of poplar, the mellowness of balsam, the bland smell of river-water that makes the skin tingle with desire to bathe, the delicate acidity of grass that caused his horse to whicker. The trail alternated pretty regularly between wooded ridges, where the stones caused ...
— The Woman from Outside - [on Swan River] • Hulbert Footner

... guano. This has been due to the fact that the practice of selling guano on analysis—especially among retail buyers—did not largely obtain in the early years of the trade. A good deal of this adulteration was probably caused by ignorant prejudice on the part of the farmer, to whom the pungency of its smell and its colour were too apt to be ranked as its most important properties. The variation in the quality of different kinds of guano was too often not sufficiently realised by the buyer, who not unfrequently was made to pay as high a price for guano of an inferior quality ...
— Manures and the principles of manuring • Charles Morton Aikman

... anxiety was claimed. I could just see her white frock beyond the still white shrouded figure on the couch. Silvio was troubled; his piteous mewing was the only sound in the room. Deeper and denser grew the black mist and its pungency began to assail my nostrils as well as my eyes. Now the volume of smoke coming from the coffer seemed to lessen, and the smoke itself to be less dense. Across the room I saw something white move where the couch was. There were several movements. ...
— The Jewel of Seven Stars • Bram Stoker

... flavor. He couldn't say that he liked what he ate, but at least it gave him the feeling of being on his own, of having made the break with his tame past as complete as possible. Earth-beef tasted too strong; Venus seaweed stew had a pungency that he didn't like. ...
— Runaway • William Morrison

... of perfume in the room, a heavy voluptuous smell in which the odour of sandal-wood mingled with the pungency of myrrh. It was very silent, so that when Grantham mixed a drink the pleasant chink of glass upon glass rang ...
— Tales of Chinatown • Sax Rohmer

... sufferings she could not well be ignorant. Lucy was a keen observer, and her epistles were filled with amusing comments on the follies that were daily committed in New York, as well as in Paris, or London. I was delighted with the delicate pungency of her satire, which, however, was totally removed from vulgar scandal. There was nothing in these letters that might not have been uttered in a drawing-room, to any but the persons concerned; and yet they were filled with a humour that rose often to wit, relieved by a tact and taste that a man ...
— Afloat And Ashore • James Fenimore Cooper

... But this was merely the first stage of his passion. Before long, as is not unusual in such cases, it took another and more bodeful turn. That inextinguishable laughter of his was heard no more, or at best gave place to a feeble tittering; his stories dropped from his lips with but flat pungency; and instead of performing his lady-love's 'chores' with a mirthful readiness, he went through them in a heartsick way, the while directing towards her furtive looks of supplication. The true state of matters was now obvious to all Old Bill was another fatally-stricken ...
— Continental Monthly, Vol. I., No. IV., April, 1862 - Devoted To Literature And National Policy • Various

... House of Commons, and was afterwards to distinguish himself as a {307} debater in the House of Lords. He wrote pretty verses and clever pamphlets, and he has left to the world a collection of "Memoirs of the Reign of George the Second," which will always be read for its vivacity, its pungency, its bitterness, and its keen, penetrating good-sense. Hervey succeeded in obtaining the hand of one of the most beautiful women of the day, the charming Mary Lepell, whose name has been celebrated in more than one poetical panegyric by Pope, and he captivated ...
— A History of the Four Georges, Volume I (of 4) • Justin McCarthy

... relaxation and innocent amusement, do singularly delight in treasons, executions, Sabine rapes, Tarquin outrages, conflagrations, murders, and all the other catalogues of hideous crimes, which, like cayenne in cookery, do give a pungency and flavor to the dull detail of history; while a fourth class, of more philosophic habits, do diligently pore over the musty chronicles of time, to investigate the operations of the human kind, and watch the ...
— Knickerbocker's History of New York, Complete • Washington Irving

... before the assembled consuls and other magnates. Probably no one of them remembers a word of my discourse; but doubtless every survivor will agree that no speaker, before or since, ever made to him an appeal of such pungency. I pervaded the whole atmosphere of the place; indeed, the town itself seemed to me, as long as I remained in it, to reek of that strange mixture of carbolic acid and Florida water; and as soon as possible after reaching the ship, the contents of the trunk ...
— Volume I • Andrew Dickson White

... raw potatoes; thoroughly extract the juice; mix with it about three ounces of horse-radish, (this to give it pungency,) flavor the same with any aromatic root to suit the taste, and then let the whole boil for one hour. After cooling, tightly bottle the mixture, and within twenty-four hours it will be fit for use. The process then will be to drink it in the same quantity that one ...
— Punchinello, Vol. 1, Issue 10 • Various

... pungency of the old-fashioned Scottish language there was sometimes a coarseness of expression, which, although commonly repeated in the Scottish drawing-room of last century, could not now be tolerated. An example of a very plain and downright address of a laird has been ...
— Reminiscences of Scottish Life and Character • Edward Bannerman Ramsay

... to be worshiped as the Christ. Each prophet comes presently to identify himself with his thought, and to esteem his hat and shoes sacred. However this may discredit such persons with the judicious, it helps them with the people, as it gives heat, pungency, and publicity to their words. A similar experience is not infrequent in private life. Each young and ardent person writes a diary, in which, when the hours of prayer and penitence arrive, he inscribes ...
— Essays • Ralph Waldo Emerson

... The pungency of extreme grief acts as a temporary opiate: for a short time it lulls the sufferer to insensibility, and sleep; but it is only to recruit him and awaken ...
— The Adventures of Hugh Trevor • Thomas Holcroft

... stated that it is usually cultivated under a shed made of bamboos, and wattled all around the sides to exclude the strong rays of the sun. The plant requires heat and a damp atmosphere, but exposure to the sun or dry winds would wither it, and destroy the flavour and pungency of the leaf. It requires great care in the cultivation, and every day a man enters the shed by a little door and carefully cleans the plants. The shed where it grows is usually a favourite lurking-place for poisonous snakes, and this diurnal visit of the betel-grower ...
— The Plant Hunters - Adventures Among the Himalaya Mountains • Mayne Reid

... side of life. He simply leaves it alone because he cannot help it; it does not attract him. He draws just that which interests him most and in the way in which it interests him; and exactly to the measure of his interest does his drawing possess vitality. Keene might have expressed with pungency his sense of certain things as being artificial and outrageous, but as long as his feelings towards them remained like that he could not express himself about them in any other way, certainly not in du Maurier's way—that is, with du ...
— George Du Maurier, the Satirist of the Victorians • T. Martin Wood

... thus given to the poem a tone of pleasant colloquialism. Told as it is, it becomes in part a dramatic monologue of which the dramatis persona is Robert Browning. It is full of quiet, sometimes grim, humour; of picturesque and witty touches; of pungency and irony. Its manner, the humorous telling of a tragic tale, is a little after the pattern of Carlyle. In such a setting the tragic episodes, sometimes all but heroic, sometimes almost grotesque, have all the impressiveness ...
— An Introduction to the Study of Browning • Arthur Symons

... though fearful of Hopkinsianism, which made some noise in the country at that period. His voice was full and clear, and his articulation very distinct. His sermons were written out with great accuracy, but were perhaps deficient in pungency of application. On the whole, he could hardly be ...
— The History of Dartmouth College • Baxter Perry Smith

... those Friday evenings, then, when the smell of roast apples steeping in hot toddy came wafting out the portals of Malachi's pantry—a smell of such convincing pungency that even the most infrequent of frequenters having once inhaled it, would have known at the first whiff that some musical function was in order. The night was to be one of ...
— The Fortunes of Oliver Horn • F. Hopkinson Smith

... category than Crichtons belong to. Rechberg plays well, and likes his game; but he is in Whist, as are all Germans, a thorough pedant. I remember an incident of his whist-life sufficiently amusing in its way, though, in relation, the reader loses what to myself is certainly the whole pungency of the story: I mean the character and nature of the person who imparted the anecdote to me, and who is about the most perfect specimen of that self-possession, which we call coolness, the age we ...
— Cornelius O'Dowd Upon Men And Women And Other Things In General - Originally Published In Blackwood's Magazine - 1864 • Charles Lever

... knife in hand, and so collided with Mr. Huxter and the Sidderbridge carter coming to the rescue of law and order. At the same moment down came three or four bottles from the chiffonnier and shot a web of pungency into the air ...
— The Invisible Man • H. G. Wells

... injury—a person towards whom duties are to be acknowledged—the genuine crim-con antagonist of the villanous seducer Joseph. To realise him more, his sufferings under his unfortunate match must have the downright pungency of life—must (or should) make you not mirthful but uncomfortable, just as the same predicament would move you in a neighbour or old friend. The delicious scenes which give the play its name and zest, must affect you in the same serious manner as if you heard the reputation of a dear ...
— The Works of Charles and Mary Lamb, Volume 2 • Charles Lamb

... experience dissolves away with time. If a man has thought sufficiently about the arduous and variously rewarded profession of literature to propose seriously to follow it for a living, he will already have said these things to himself, with more force and pungency. He may have satisfied himself that he has a necessary desire for "self-expression," which is a parlous state indeed, and the cause of much literary villainy. The truly great writer is more likely to write in the hope of expressing the hearts of others than his own. ...
— Plum Pudding - Of Divers Ingredients, Discreetly Blended & Seasoned • Christopher Morley

... barking at the top of their respective registers. Be it remembered that Finn and Kathleen, up till that morning, had never been at close quarters with more than one dog at a time, and had never seen more than about a dozen dogs outside their own breed altogether. The noise of barking, the pungency and variety of smells, and the crowded multiplicity of doggy personalities were at first overpowering, and Finn and his sister walked with lowered tails, quick-shifting eyes, raised hackles, and twitching skin. But pride of race, and the ...
— Finn The Wolfhound • A. J. Dawson

... elements, and so are apt to warp when used in buildings on account of this superfluity of moisture, yet they can be kept to a great age without rotting, because the liquid contained within their substances has a bitter taste which by its pungency prevents the entrance of decay or of those little creatures which are destructive. Hence, buildings made of these kinds of wood last for an unending period ...
— Ten Books on Architecture • Vitruvius

... overthrown, shortly took stringent measures against the 'liberty' of the stage; measures by which a political stage censorship was formally established, and the topical gaiety of our theatre, and the pungency of our theatrical announcements, henceforth ...
— Henry Fielding: A Memoir • G. M. Godden

... homogeneous pulp, and the very bones give up their jelly. What are all the strongest epithets of our dictionary to us now? The critics and politicians, and especially the philanthropists, have chewed them, till they are mere wads of syllable-fibre, without a suggestion of their old pungency and power. ...
— The Professor at the Breakfast Table • Oliver Wendell Holmes (Sr.)

... censurers excuse the woes in me they see: O thou whose love hath gotten hold the foremost in the heart * Of me whose fondness is excelled by mine insanity: Fear the Compassionate in my case and some compassion show! * Love of thee makes me taste of death in bitterest pungency." ...
— The Book of the Thousand Nights and a Night, Volume 8 • Richard F. Burton

... even yet no adequate sense of the strength and pungency of her younger sister's spirit, but who would not in any event have hesitated to rush on an individual martyrdom that might secure some consideration for the collective family—threw herself ...
— With the Procession • Henry B. Fuller

... naturally enough, by her denunciations of the corruptions of the Church, denunciations as sweeping and penetrating as were ever uttered by Luther; by her amazingly sharp and outspoken criticism of the popes; and by her constant plea for reform. The pungency of all these elements in her writings is felt by the most casual reader. But it must never be forgotten that honest and vigorous criticism of the Church Visible is, in the mind of the Catholic philosopher, entirely consistent with loyalty to the sacerdotal theory. There is a noble idealism that breaks ...
— Letters of Catherine Benincasa • Catherine Benincasa

... Earle, who possessed more than a smattering knowledge of botany, declared that most of them were orchids, several of which were new to him. The air of the place was heavy with mingled odours—one might almost have called them perfumes, were it not for a certain smack of rankness and pungency in them—and alive with birds, varying in size from that of a bumble bee up to that of a carrion crow, a few specimens of which could be seen perched here and there on the topmost branches of the tallest trees. Several of the birds were ...
— In Search of El Dorado • Harry Collingwood

... degrees will by this time have increased to 80, or even more, and the specific gravity of the wort diminished from 26 or 27 pound per barrel, to six or seven pound per barrel; this attenuation will give it all the pungency and spirituosity it stands in need of. At this time your cleansing operation commences; after which it will work but little in the casks. It should be filled regularly every two or three hours, after cleansing, for the first twenty-four. After it has done working, you should immediately ...
— The American Practical Brewer and Tanner • Joseph Coppinger

... the jack rabbits," she rallied herself shakily, when she was safely hidden behind a sagebush whose pungency made her horribly afraid that she might sneeze, which ...
— The Quirt • B.M. Bower

... of the day, who could afford to pay for its rearing. The small sneezing plant, a vegetable smelling-bottle, is still employed in headach by the common people of Sicily, who bruise the leaves and sniff their pungency: its vulgar name, malupertusu, is the corruption of Marum del Cortuso, as we find it in the ancient herbal of Durante. The Ferula communis or Saracinisca, a legacy left to the Sicilian pedagogues by their eastern lords, is sold in fagots at the green-grocers, and fulfils ...
— Blackwood's Edinburgh Magazine, No. CCCXXXII. - June, 1843.,Vol. LIII. • Various

... tastes like the best chestnuts or filberts, but is rather too dry when cooked. Polyporus Berkeleii, Fr., is intensely pungent when raw, but when young, and before the pores are visible, it may be eaten with impunity, all its pungency being dissipated by cooking. Polyporus confluens, Fr., he considers superior, and, in fact, quite a favourite. Polyporus sulfureus, Fr., which is not eaten in Europe, he considers just tolerably safe, but not to be coveted. It is by ...
— Fungi: Their Nature and Uses • Mordecai Cubitt Cooke

... action down here can be a perfect action, for "action," it is written in an ancient book, "is surrounded with evil as a fire is surrounded with smoke." The imperfection of the medium makes the smoke round every Word of Fire, every Word of Truth. And the Founder must endure the pungency of the smoke, if He would speak the Word of Fire. The realisation of that, however dimly, however imperfectly, makes the passion of gratitude in the human heart to those Men who bear their infirmities ...
— London Lectures of 1907 • Annie Besant

... of the future? The future was not: the present was—and full of delights. If she did not receive much tenderness from auntie, at least she was not afraid of her. The pungency of her temper was but as the salt and vinegar which brought out the true flavour of the other numberless pleasures around her. Were her excursions far afield, perched aloft on Dowie's shoulder, and holding on by the top of his head, or clinging to his back with her arms round his neck, at all the ...
— Alec Forbes of Howglen • George MacDonald

... heads, while above these, and drooping in many cases right down to the ground, was an inextricable maze and tangle of lianas, or "monkey rope," intertwined with which were countless festoons of flowering creepers, the mingled perfumes of which were almost overpowering in their pungency. Long pliant twigs thickly studded with needle-sharp thorns constantly protruded across the path, menacing their faces and tenaciously grappling their clothing, so that they had to halt at almost every other step to free themselves; and ...
— The Cruise of the Nonsuch Buccaneer • Harry Collingwood

... pungency on the part of the fair young creature led, on ordinary occasions, to such slight consequences as the copious dilution of Mr Pinch's tea, or to his coming off uncommonly short in respect of butter, or to other the like results. But on the morning ...
— Life And Adventures Of Martin Chuzzlewit • Charles Dickens

... version was on a yet higher level than this, embodying in it a concentrated pungency and a curiosa felicitas which were quite in the vein of Horace, but contain a thought not present in the original. They were comprised in these ...
— Memoirs of Life and Literature • W. H. Mallock

... of barrels, each orator being affectionately tugged to the pedestal and set on end by his special constituency. Every speech was good, without exception; with the queerest oddities of phrase and pronunciation, there was an invariable enthusiasm, a pungency of statement, and an understanding of the points at issue, which made them all rather thrilling. Those long-winded slaves in "Among the Pines" seemed rather fictitious and literary in comparison. The most eloquent, perhaps, was Corporal Price ...
— Army Life in a Black Regiment • Thomas Wentworth Higginson

... the wrath of Flood at seeing the laurels which he had relinquished seized by a younger champion, and the daring, yet justified confidence of Grattan in his own admirable powers to win and wear them. Flood, in the bitterest pungency of political epigram, charged Grattan with having sold himself to the people, and then sold the people to the minister for prompt payment. (A vote of L50,000 had been passed to purchase an estate for Grattan.) Grattan retorted, ...
— Blackwood's Edinburgh Magazine, Volume 56, Number 350, December 1844 • Various

... these are presented as quite incidental impressions. You must suppose that for the most part our walks and observations keep us within the more urban quarters of Lucerne. From a number of beautifully printed placards at the street corners, adorned with caricatures of considerable pungency, we discover an odd little election is in progress. This is the selection, upon strictly democratic lines, with a suffrage that includes every permanent resident in the Lucerne ward over the age of fifteen, of the ugliest local building. The old little ...
— A Modern Utopia • H. G. Wells

... were obliged to buy his own snuff, it would give him no sensation. The strongest would not make him sneeze, or wring from the sensibility of his eyes the smallest tribute to its pungency. He would turn up his nose at it, or, at the best, use it as sand-dust to receipt his ...
— Punch, or the London Charivari, Vol. 1, December 11, 1841 • Various

... languages with comfort. The interpreter, Mantoux, who sat behind Clemenceau, was no mere translator. A few notes scribbled on a pad were sufficient for him to render the sense of a speech with keen accuracy and frequently with a fire and a pungency that surpassed the original. He spoke always in the first person as though the points made in debate were his own, and the carrying of each particular point the ideal nearest his heart. Behind the principals, the "Olympians," ...
— Woodrow Wilson and the World War - A Chronicle of Our Own Times. • Charles Seymour

... produce an effervescence on it. The pain of heat at the upper end of the gullet, when any air is brought up from the fermenting contents of the stomach, is to be ascribed to the sympathy between these two extremities of the oesophagus rather than to the pungency of the carbonic gas, or fixed air; as the sensation in swallowing that kind of air in water is of a different kind. See Class I. 3. 1. 3. and ...
— Zoonomia, Vol. II - Or, the Laws of Organic Life • Erasmus Darwin

... inspiration. A practised book-maker, with entire control of her materials, would have shaped out a duodecimo volume full of eloquent and ingenious dissertation,—criticisms which quite take the color and pungency out of other people's critical remarks on Shakspeare,—philosophic truths which she imagined herself to have found at the roots of his conceptions, and which certainly come from no inconsiderable depth somewhere. There was ...
— Atlantic Monthly, Vol. 11, No. 63, January, 1863 - A Magazine Of Literature, Art, And Politics • Various

... Review is undeniable, but temperamentally he was inclined to give any writer a fair chance to stir his emotions; and he did not adopt the magisterial mood that dictated the famous remark, "This will never do." Scott's style lacked the adroitness and pungency which helped Jeffrey successfully to take the attitude of the censor, and which made his satire triumphant among his contemporaries. Scott declined, moreover, to cultivate skill in a method which he considered unfair. Compared ...
— Sir Walter Scott as a Critic of Literature • Margaret Ball

... sudden for our powers of adjustment. It was Paris in its essence—the thing in itself—and it had all come unedited through the hands of a mother and a sister who were so rapt or so subservient as to be incapable of offering opposition to the full pungency of the Parisian evangel, and of hushing down an emphatic text for acceptance in a more quiet environment. I can only say that several nice young chaps looked once and then looked away. Raymond himself was inconvenienced. Nor did matters mend when, within a week or so, Mrs. Raymond Prince ...
— On the Stairs • Henry B. Fuller

... liberty than he can locate his soul. Mr. D. G. Ritchie truly says: "Many crimes have been done, and a still greater amount of nonsense talked in the name of liberty."[27] Seeley, with as much justice as pungency, asserts that some writers "teach us to call by the name of liberty whatever in politics we want," and so lead us to disguise our selfishness and cowardice in the stolen garb of moral principle.[28] At any rate, there is urgent need that before we either support or oppose any practical political ...
— Freedom In Service - Six Essays on Matters Concerning Britain's Safety and Good Government • Fossey John Cobb Hearnshaw

... magic, more of British woodland glamour, more of the sheer joy of life in it than anything since "As You Like It,"' though Higsby went so far as this in the Daily Chronicle; nor can I allow the claim made for the other by Grigsby in the Globe that 'for pungency of satire there has been nothing like it since Swift laid down his pen, and for sheer sweetness and tenderness of feeling—ex forti dulcedo—nothing to be mentioned in the same breath with it since the lute fell from the tired hand of Theocritus.' These were foolish ...
— Seven Men • Max Beerbohm

... probably lost nothing of its pungency from the tone in which it was delivered, so incensed the pope that he attempted to seize the paper and tear it in pieces, giving vent at the same time to the most indecent reproaches against the minister and his sovereigns. ...
— The History of the Reign of Ferdinand and Isabella The Catholic, V3 • William H. Prescott

... the remark of the Parisian doctor, Pierre Cornu, is Farel, in a MS. note to a hitherto inedited letter of Pauvan, and in his speech at the discussion at Lausanne. Herminjard, i. 293, 294. Farel's application was not without pungency: "Votre foi est-elle si bien fondee qu'un jeune fils, qui encore n'avoit point de barbe, vous ait fait tant de dommage, sans avoir tant etudie ne veu, sans avoir aucun degre, et vous etiez tant?" The admirer of heroic fortitude will scarcely subscribe to the ...
— The Rise of the Hugenots, Vol. 1 (of 2) • Henry Martyn Baird

... denote the inward sacrifice of the heart, whereby man offers his soul to God. But in the inward sacrifice, the sweetness, which is denoted by honey, surpasses the pungency which salt represents; for it is written (Ecclus. 24:27): "My spirit is sweet above honey." Therefore it was unbecoming that the use of honey, and of leaven which makes bread savory, should be forbidden in ...
— Summa Theologica, Part I-II (Pars Prima Secundae) - From the Complete American Edition • Saint Thomas Aquinas

... entirely behind the fortunes of the country and still cherished prejudices against democracy that the very stupidest of European conservatives had begun to lay aside. The newspaper (p. 173) press he had assailed with a pungency and vigor which it in vain sought to rival. He was spattered by it, however, with almost every opprobrious term that belongs to the vocabulary of wrath and abuse. Invention was tasked to furnish discreditable reasons ...
— James Fenimore Cooper - American Men of Letters • Thomas R. Lounsbury

... and untidy growth, a climber, with smooth, soft stems, ten or twelve feet long, and tough, broadly ovate leaves. It is supported much as hops are. When the berries on a spike begin to turn red they are gathered, as they lose pungency if they are allowed to ripen. They are placed on mats, and are either trodden with the feet or rubbed by the hands to separate them from the spike, after which they are cleaned by winnowing. Black pepper consists of such berries wrinkled and blackened in the process of drying, and white pepper ...
— The Golden Chersonese and the Way Thither • Isabella L. Bird (Mrs. Bishop)

... clean cut, and evidently memorised speech the details of the movements he wished executed, but through his more formal and memorised vocabulary his native cockney would occasionally erupt, adding vastly to the pungency and picturesqueness ...
— The Sky Pilot in No Man's Land • Ralph Connor

... than they had yet known in Boston, and they were sensible of having reached a more southern latitude. The air, though freshened by the over- night's storm, still wanted the briskness and sparkle and pungency of the Boston air, which is as delicious in summer as it is terrible in winter; and the faces that showed themselves were sodden from the yesterday's heat and perspiration. A corner-grocer, seated in a sort of fierce despondency upon a keg near his shop door, had lightly equipped himself ...
— Henry James, Jr. • William Dean Howells

... wore on—the Eastern night of cloudless moonlight with the scents of the earth rising from harvested fields to mingle with the pungency of smouldering fires. Somewhere an ...
— Banked Fires • E. W. (Ethel Winifred) Savi

... beyond those two classes, no speaker can ever expect to retain the ear of the House. Our theory, however, is not the favourite one with that crowd, whose diatribes nightly fill the columns of the newspapers; where bitterness is perpetually mistaken for pungency, and petulance for power, dryness for business and commonplace for conviction. But failure is the inevitable consequence; the archer showers his shafts in vain; they are pointed with lead, and they always fall ...
— Blackwood's Edinburgh Magazine, Volume 61, No. 378, April, 1847 • Various

... exhaling heartily, the scent of violet denying the pungency of fish and the pungency of fish denying the scent of violet. "How's the ...
— The Vertical City • Fannie Hurst

... Mortui", a Celtic note, shown so exquisitely in her "Irish Peasant Song", and one has the more obvious characteristics of poetry that, whatever its theme, is always distinguished and individual. Miss Guiney has a crisp economy of phrase, a pungency and tang, that invest her style with an unusual degree of personality. Her volumes in their order have been: "The White Sail", 1887; "A Roadside Harp", 1893; "Nine Sonnets Written at Oxford", 1895; "The Martyr's Idyl", 1899; and "Happy Ending", her ...
— The Little Book of Modern Verse • Jessie B. Rittenhouse

... of general interest, professional or external; the outlook was wider. But while all this tended to make them more instructive, and in so far more useful companions, it also took from the salt of individuality somewhat of its pungency. It did not fall to them, either, to become afterwards especially conspicuous in the nearing War of Secession. They were good seamen and gallant men; knew their duty and did it; but either opportunity failed them, or they failed opportunity; from my knowledge of them, probably the ...
— From Sail to Steam, Recollections of Naval Life • Captain A. T. Mahan

... suddenly Prudence became conscious of something unusual. She raised her face to the grey vault of the sky and sniffed at the air. A pungent scent was borne upon the wind. The odour of resinous wood, so strong as to be sickly, came to her, and its pungency was not the ordinary scent ...
— The Hound From The North • Ridgwell Cullum

... came back to consciousness with the pungency of the ammonia reeking through his head, he found himself lying on very soft pillows in a very big white sunny kitchen, where everything was scoured to a brightness that dazzled you. Bending over him was a tall, gaunt woman with a thin, determined ...
— Lucy Maud Montgomery Short Stories, 1902 to 1903 • Lucy Maud Montgomery

... nevertheless, in the vast majority of the very limited number we possess the same Roman characteristics may be traced. In the non-lyrical epigrams of Catullus, in the shorter poems of the Appendix Vergiliana, there is the same vigour, the same coarse humour, the same pungency that find their best expression in Martial. Even in the epigrams attributed to Seneca in the Anthologia Latina [653] something of this may be observed, though for the most part they lack the personal note and leave the impression of mere juggling ...
— Post-Augustan Poetry - From Seneca to Juvenal • H.E. Butler

... more easily. For the first time Genevieve saw the stomach-breathing of a man, an abdomen that rose and fell far more with every breath than her breast rose and fell after she had run for a car. The pungency of ammonia bit her nostrils, wafted to her from the soaked sponge wherefrom he breathed the fiery fumes that cleared his brain. He gargled his mouth and throat, took a suck at a divided lemon, and all the while the towels worked like mad, driving oxygen ...
— The Game • Jack London

... described the ingredients of an exquisite proverb to be sense, shortness, and salt. A proverb is distinguished from a maxim or an apophthegm by that brevity which condenses a thought or a metaphor, where one thing is said and another is to be applied. This often produces wit, and that quick pungency which excites surprise, but strikes with conviction; this gives it an epigrammatic turn. George Herbert entitled the small collection which he formed "Jacula Prudentium," Darts or Javelins! something hurled and striking deeply; a characteristic of a proverb which possibly Herbert ...
— Curiosities of Literature, Vol. 3 (of 3) • Isaac D'Israeli

... its provisions, vigilant though the editor may be. But in the case of a confessedly "satirical" journal the danger is enormously increased, for the margin between "fair comment" and flat libel shrinks strangely when the raison d'etre of the criticism is pungency, ...
— The History of "Punch" • M. H. Spielmann

... affected. If the Disease has seiz'd the Thighs, Legs, or Feet, the Application must not only be made to them, but likewise to the Back Bone, at the Loins. As this Medicine cannot, on account of it's Volatility and Pungency, be properly applied to the Whole, of a Paralytic Limb at once, but only to a small Part of it, the Application therefore may be made sometimes to one Part, and sometimes to another, ...
— An Account of the Extraordinary Medicinal Fluid, called Aether. • Matthew Turner

... the hearers would be all drowned in tears, as if the admonition had been, as indeed he would with much artifice make it be directed unto them all; but such would be the compassion, and yet the gravity, the majesty, the scriptural and awful pungency of these his dispensations, that the conscience of the offender himself, could make no resistance thereunto." [Footnote: Magnalia, bk. 4, ch. ...
— The Emancipation of Massachusetts • Brooks Adams

... of his subject, that carries off any quaintness or awkwardness arising from an antiquated style and dress. The matter is completely his own, though the manner is assumed. Perhaps his ideas are altogether so marked and individual, as to require their point and pungency to be neutralized by the affectation of a singular but traditional form of conveyance. Tricked out in the prevailing costume, they would probably seem more startling and out of the way. The old English ...
— Charles Lamb • Barry Cornwall

... out upon a bay tree, a little thing awaiting its slaughter—for shade trees might not grow too near the windows in San Francisco. It was flopping its lance-leaves against the panes; puffs of the breeze brought in a suggestion of its pungency. That magic sense, so closely united with memory—it brought back a faint impression upon her. Her very panic at this ghost of old imaginations inspired the inquiry, barbed and ...
— The Readjustment • Will Irwin

... door I was met by a most pungent odour, a most pungent odour. Indeed, though I have experienced most of the smells that come to one in the practice of our profession, this odour had a pungency and a nauseating character all its own. Looking into the room I was startled to observe the place swimming with blood, literally swimming with blood. Blood on the floor, blood upon the bed, ...
— The Prospector - A Tale of the Crow's Nest Pass • Ralph Connor

... (VITEX TRIFOLIA), with small spikes of lavender-coloured flowers, and grey-green silvery leaves, mingles with the coarse grasses of the sandy flats, and usurping broad areas forms an aromatic carpet from which every footstep expresses a homely pungency as of marjoram and sage. The odour of the island may be specific, and therefore to be prized, yet it gladdens also because it awakens happy and all too fleeting reminiscences. English fields and hedges cannot be forgotten when ...
— The Confessions of a Beachcomber • E J Banfield

... something. I pray thee, think of something, Harry." He looked at me with such exceeding wistfulness that I was forced to cudgel my brains for something which, having a slight savour of truth, might be seasoned to pungency at fancy. "Often have I heard her say that she liked a fair man," I replied, and indeed I had, and believed her to have said it because I was dark, and seemingly inattentive to some new grace of hers as to the tying of her hair ...
— The Heart's Highway - A Romance of Virginia in the Seventeeth Century • Mary E. Wilkins

... heroics, perfected by the long probation of his Homeric translations, and his equally unrivalled powers of satire, let loose and emboldened by the brutalities of the "Dunciad," found their fitting field. Aimed at the old eternal vices and frailties of humanity, they assail them with a pungency, a force, a wit, and a directness which, in English verse, have no parallel. Indeed it may be doubted whether the portraits of Bufo and Sporus, of Atossa and Atticus, have been excelled ...
— Great Men and Famous Women, Vol. 7 of 8 • Charles F. (Charles Francis) Horne

... will, they are ever fresh as though new minted from the brain of the poet. Being perfect, they can never droop under that satiety which arises from the perception of fault; their virtue can never be so entirely savoured as to leave no pungency of gusto for ...
— The Private Papers of Henry Ryecroft • George Gissing



Words linked to "Pungency" :   witticism, sharpness, wit, wittiness, pungent, spice, humour, spicery, humor, spiciness



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