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Saturday, September 1, 2007

TRENCHANT: "Having keenness and forcefulness and penetration in thought, expression, or intellect"

From the French: "to cut"

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"trenchant criticism"
"a trenchant argument"
"trenchant distinctions between right and wrong"

trenchant \TREN-chunt\, adjective:
1. Characterized by or full of force and vigor; as, "a trenchant analysis."
2. Caustic; biting; severe; as, "trenchant criticism."
3. Distinct; clear-cut; clearly or sharply defined.
Her insistence that women's rights should be upheld universally, notwithstanding concerns about cultural diversity, led some to criticise her for being too narrowly entrenched within western liberalism, while others celebrated her trenchant defence of egalitarianism.
-- Judith Squires, "Susan Moller Okin", The Guardian, March 26, 2004
His revolutionary music, abrasive personality and trenchant writings about art and life divided the city into warring factions.
-- Jonathan Carr, Mahler: A Biography
Trenchant comes from Old French, from the present participle of trenchier, "to cut." It is related to trench.
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