Tuesday, August 23, 2011

trenchant



trenchant [ˈtrɛntʃənt] a.

1.) Forceful, effective, and vigorous: a trenchant argument.
2.) Caustic; cutting: trenchant criticism.
3.) Distinct; clear-cut (American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language).

Etymology: Middle English, from Old French, cutting, from present participle of trenchier, to cut.

"'So won't you young men shed this empty whinnying and prancing over victory? You should cower in abject humility in the face of the future, ever watchful for the end, whatever it may be, that the gods will cause to strike each and every one of you in retribution for your current success.' It is said that Aemilius went on in this vein for some time before dismissing the young men, with their vain and insolent pride well and truly curbed by the bridle of his trenchant words" (Roman Lives by Plutarch, Robin Wood (trans.), 1999).

(Le Triomphe d'Amelius Paulus, Antoine Charles Horace Vernet, 1789)

22 comments:

Mai Yang said...

this one, I like =))
for example..a trenchant smile =))

DEZMOND said...

I love the sound of the word and the painting is also lovely, Edmund!

shari said...

I haven't heard of that one! I'm going to have to use that one. I like the first definition the best....

thanks for visiting me & commenting. I'm sorry i've been kind of absent lately! The last word I read about was baroque... I've got some catching up to do!

Zombie said...

never heard this word before but now I feel a lot more educated. :D

Michael Westside said...

i'm always trenchant

D4 said...

Makes me think of trench coat..

Natasha said...

What a brilliant passage you picked for today's word, I love the power in it. And I am exaggerating slightly in my post, but the most sun seems to have been in April with intermittent spots ever since. Don't lose hope though! xxx

Mark Noce said...

Very rad! I'll have to use that word today. Neat blog, I like its sense of humor and style:)

Shaw said...

Great, now I'm thinking of trench coats D4

JayJay said...

Another fun word. My students seem to have rather trenchant attitudes.

meandmythinkingcap said...

Interesting argument. And about the earthworm myth.
I am posting a link here.
http://www.sciencebuddies.org/science-fair-projects/project_ideas/Zoo_p011.shtml

Bibi said...

Can't use this. Nothing similar in Dutch. :( I guess if I were to use this one in a Dutch paper, I'd rather have to use the French, just because that's more 'accepted' in our academic writing.
Weird how the 'a' in French (tranchant) changed to an 'e' in English. Or maybe that's just normal, what do I know.

re: Congrats on finally making that dream come true. Always happy to be of help.

Shutterbug said...

this could be a band name. ;)

Inverse said...

Agree with Dez, awesome sounding word.

GMSoccerPicks said...

I think you already figured that what i enjoy the most in this blog, is the fantastic artwork you post. Simply spectacular.

Bibi said...

re: About the subjunctive mood: uhm... I don't know? It just came naturally... I guess? If only my English teacher knew everything turned out more or less fine with my English, she would be moved to tears -- no, she wouldn't, she didn't really care about me.

Both 'a's in 'tranchant' are equally long, so my best guess is that after the English adapted it from the French, pronunciation and thus spelling changed over the years.

I wasn't being sarcastic, btw. Show me one girl who doesn't appreciate being hit on with the word 'modifier' and I'll prove she's lying. :P

Gianella said...

Haven't heard, much more used, this word before. Thanks for sharing it :)

Leeann @ Join the Gossip said...

Yes! I am one word smarter thanks to you :)

Henry said...

Trenchant eh? The word itself sounds 'forceful'

Kid Shuffle said...

i now have a new song title :)

Mai Yang said...

re your comment: no!!! that wasn't meant for you. (It's not a compliment either)sorry for the misconception.
it was just an example..Ü
I hope I clear that one out..
sorry :))

Necroticism said...

I always have trenchant comments.

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