Part of Speech: Adjective

Definition: sharp or biting to the taste or smell; bitterly pungent; irritating to the eyes, nose, etc.:


Found in Discovering Colors in Prison by Nancy Gomez line 16

“The burnt colors of fear-more smell than color,/ vaporous and acrid.”

In these lines, the speaker is talking about a scent. Prior to reading this poem, I’d never heard this word. Anything burnt has a very distinct smell, mostly an unpleasing one. The speaker is comparing the smell of burnt to fear-both being negative things. Knowing the meaning of this word helped me to to understand the idea the speaking is trying to get across in these lines. That idea being that fear has a scent and it’s bitter.

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