Merriam-Webster’s Word of the Day for February 27, 2020 is:
trenchant • TREN-chunt • adjective
2 : vigorously effective and articulate; also : caustic
3 a : sharply perceptive : penetrating
“Felix had a confident, gayly trenchant way of judging human actions which Mr. Wentworth grew little by little to envy; it seemed like criticism made easy.” — Henry James, The Europeans, 1878
“Whether you view it as a trenchant treatise on the contemporary effects of Marxism, or just a wonderfully odd glimpse into a fading star of the fashion industry, Celebration is at turns beguiling, fascinating, and true, which is what one should want and need out of a documentary.” — Josh Kupecki, The Austin Chronicle, 18 Oct. 2019
Did you know?
The word trenchant comes from the Anglo-French verb trencher, meaning “to cut,” and may ultimately derive from the Vulgar Latin trinicare, meaning “to cut in three.” Hence, a trenchant sword is one with a keen edge; a trenchant remark is one that cuts deep; and a trenchant observation is one that cuts to the heart of the matter. Relatives of trenchant in English include the noun trench (“a long ditch cut into the ground”) and the verb retrench (“to cut down or pare away” or “to cut down expenses”).