• IPA: /ˈtɹɛnʃənt/


  1. (obsolete) fit#Verb|Fitted to trench#Verb|trench or cut#Verb|cut; gutting#Adjective|gutting; sharp#Adjective|sharp.
    • 1663, Samuel Butler, Hudibras, part 1, canto 1:
      The trenchant blade, Toledo trusty, / For want of fighting was grown rusty, / And ate into itself, for lack / Of somebody to hew and hack.
  2. (figuratively) keen#Adjective|Keen; biting#Adjective|biting; vigorously articulate and effective; severe.
    trenchant wit
    • 1899 February, Joseph Conrad, “The Heart of Darkness”, in Blackwood’s Edinburgh Magazine, volume CLXV, number M, New York, N.Y.: The Leonard Scott Publishing Company, […], OCLC 1042815524 ↗, part I, pages 210–211 ↗:
      His eyes, of the usual blue, were perhaps remarkably cold, and he certainly could make his glance fall on one as trenchant and heavy as an axe.
    • 2011, Jay A. Gertzman, Bookleggers and Smuthounds: The Trade in Erotica, 1920-1940
      His trenchant criticisms of the Church's repression […] include a discussion of the considerable 1938 success of the fledgling NODL in getting magazines removed from various points of sale.
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