Last modified on 16 December 2014, at 23:54




  • IPA(key): /ˈpiː.kənt/, /ˈpiː.ˌkɑːnt/, /piː.ˈkɑːnt/


Middle French piquant (pricking, stimulating, irritating), from Old French pikier (to prick, sting, nettle). Related to pike.


piquant (comparative more piquant, superlative most piquant)

  1. Engaging; charming.
  2. Favorably stimulating to the palate; pleasantly spicy; stimulating.
    • 2000, Lynn Bedford Hall, Best of Cooking in South Africa (page 2000)
      These chops are baked in a piquant sauce containing fruit, honey, cinnamon, lemon and port, all of which reduces to a spicy syrup.
    • 2005, Clifford A. Wright, Some like it hot: spicy favorites from the world's hot zones
      Elsewhere in South America, excepting Bahia in Brazil, one does not encounter piquant cuisine, although one may stumble on a piquant dish now and then...
    • 2009, Sara Engra, Katie Luber, Kimberly Toqe, The Spice Kitchen: Everyday Cooking with Organic Spices (page 9)
      French charcuterie relies on cloves in the quatre épices, or four-spice powder, for seasoning fine sausages and piquant marinades.
  3. (archaic) Causing hurt feelings; scathing.


The translations below need to be checked and inserted above into the appropriate translation tables, removing any numbers. Numbers do not necessarily match those in definitions. See instructions at Help:How to check translations.




piquant m (feminine piquante, masculine plural piquants, feminine plural piquantes)

  1. spikey; spiny
  2. piquant (of food, spicy, etc.)
  3. cold; ice-cold
  4. scathing (of humor, of a joke, etc.)
  5. (usually of a person) attractive

External linksEdit

Middle FrenchEdit


piquant (plural piquans)

  1. Present participle of piquer.


piquant m (feminine singular piquante, masculine plural piquans, feminine plural piquantes)

  1. alternative form of picquant