The noun poignancy refers to something that is deeply touching, especially something that brings forth strong emotions like sympathy, sadness, or sorrow. The poignancy of the movie may bring you to tears. Bring tissues. Lots of tissues.

The noun poignancy is from the Old French word poindre, which means "to prick or sting." Related words include the adjective poignant. Similar words include pathos and bathos, although both of these words often imply a sort artificiality that poignancy does not. Pathos can imply a trick by the writer or speaker to produce sympathy or sadness and bathos can imply artificial sentimentality, so poignancy is often the preferred word when genuine emotion is involved.

Definitions of poignancy
  1. noun
    a quality that arouses emotions (especially pity or sorrow)
    synonyms: pathos
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    type of:
    an essential and distinguishing attribute of something or someone
  2. noun
    a state of deeply felt distress or sorrow
    “a moment of extraordinary poignancy
    synonyms: poignance
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    type of:
    sadness, sorrow, sorrowfulness
    the state of being sad
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