Something that is poignant touches you deeply. Watching a poignant YouTube video about baby penguins chasing their mothers, for example, might give you a lump in your throat.

Poignant comes from the Latin pungere "to prick," the same root as pungent. But something that's pungent pricks your sense of smell, whereas poignant refers to something that pricks your emotions, especially in a melancholy way. Movie critics might describe a touching portrayal as poignant if there isn't a dry eye in the house.

Definitions of poignant

adj keenly distressing to the mind or feelings

poignant anxiety”
causing physical or psychological pain

adj arousing affect

poignant grief cannot endure forever”
affecting, touching
arousing or capable of arousing deep emotion