- 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 causticity
I know it will be all sense for the church, and all causticity for schism.Shirley
He now knew to what the causticity of alkalies is owing, and how to induce it, or remove it, at pleasure.The Life of Sir Humphrey Davy, Bart. LL.D., Volume 2 (of 2)
John Ayrton Paris
The work was more suited to the meridian of Edinburgh; and from causes sufficiently obvious, its personality and causticity.Calamities and Quarrels of Authors
"Well, I suppose we must pity his errors," observed Miss Patty, with some causticity.That Unfortunate Marriage, Vol. 1(of 3)
Frances Eleanor Trollope
But I am very far from thinking that the causticity of quick-lime is at all owing to this circumstance.Experiments and Observations on Different Kinds of Air
- 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 causticity
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.