- capable of burning, corroding, or destroying living tissue.
- severely critical or sarcastic: a caustic remark.
Origin of caustic
SynonymsSee more synonyms on Thesaurus.com
Examples from the Web for caustic
Why do you think that until know you have been cast as the caustic wife in other pieces?‘Surviving Jack’ Star Rachael Harris Is No Longer ‘The Bitch'
March 27, 2014
Her father left his entire £2 million fortune to his brother, explaining his decision in a caustic rider to his will.The Week in Death: Clarissa Dickson Wright, One of ‘Two Fat Ladies’
March 22, 2014
When his companion reacts to his confession with a caustic joke, he says, confused, “So it makes a difference does it?”The Laboratory of Real Life in Caryl Churchill’s “Love and Information”
February 21, 2014
Perhaps the most caustic anti-Republican riff came from Al Gore.Please Don’t Compare House Republicans to Iran or Syria, OK?
October 1, 2013
And she does it all with caustic wit and some less-than-charming winking.Lucille Bluth’s Best Mothering Moments in ‘Arrested Development’ (VIDEO)
May 12, 2013
It is--but the mention of her name is a caustic to the wounds of her heart.Female Scripture Biographies, Vol. I
Francis Augustus Cox
Sir Rowland flushed under that mocking glance and caustic tone.Mistress Wilding
It also gives off ammonia, when treated with caustic potash.
The strong bases, like lye and caustic soda, are also called alkalies.Common Science
Carleton W. Washburne
Tonic, irritant, and caustic; dose internally, one to two drachms.Cattle and Their Diseases
- capable of burning or corroding by chemical actioncaustic soda
- sarcastic; cuttinga caustic reply
- of, relating to, or denoting light that is reflected or refracted by a curved surface
- Also called: caustic surface a surface that envelops the light rays reflected or refracted by a curved surface
- Also called: caustic curve a curve formed by the intersection of a caustic surface with a plane
- chem a caustic substance, esp an alkali
Word Origin and History for caustic
c.1400, "burning, corrosive," from Latin causticus "burning, caustic," from Greek kaustikos "capable of burning; corrosive," from kaustos "combustible; burnt," verbal adjective from kaiein, the Greek word for "to burn" (transitive and intransitive) in all periods, of uncertain origin with no certain cognates outside Greek. Figurative sense of "sarcastic" is attested from 1771. As a noun, early 15c., from the adjective.
- A hydroxide of a light metal.
- A caustic material or substance.
- Capable of burning, corroding, dissolving, or eating away by chemical action.
- Of or relating to light emitted from a point source and reflected or refracted from a curved surface.
- Causing a burning or stinging sensation.