- sharply caustic or sarcastic, as wit or a speaker; biting.
- burning; corrosive.
- having the property of fixing colors, as in dyeing.
- a substance used in dyeing to fix the coloring matter, especially a metallic compound, as an oxide or hydroxide, that combines with the organic dye and forms an insoluble colored compound or lake in the fiber.
- an adhesive substance for binding gold or silver leaf to a surface.
- an acid or other corrosive substance used in etching to eat out the lines, areas, etc.
- Music. mordent.
- to impregnate or treat with a mordant.
Origin of mordant
SynonymsSee more synonyms on Thesaurus.com
- a melodic embellishment consisting of a rapid alternation of a principal tone with the tone a half or a whole step below it, called single or short when the auxiliary tone occurs once and double or long when this occurs twice or more.
- inverted mordent.
Origin of mordent
Examples from the Web for mordant
Such seemingly effortless—and mordant—improvisation can be a marvel to behold.The Stacks: Robin Williams, More Than A Shtick Figure
August 16, 2014
Mischievous, more bite than bark in the sense that it was mordant with minimal rhetoric, Heaney was not genteel.Robert Pinsky: The Comedy of Seamus Heaney
October 1, 2013
"Mordant" is the word I think I want to describe his conversation.Robert Bork, RIP
December 20, 2012
I like that the emotional lives of women are tinged with a kind of mordant humor for the most part.Broadway's Comeback Kid
November 2, 2011
Bradlee is, at times, funny, mordant, surprisingly perceptive and disturbingly naïve.An Ordinary, Extraordinary Life
March 31, 2009
What are the products of hydrolysis when stannic chloride is used as a mordant?An Elementary Study of Chemistry
Tin is not so useful as a mordant in itself, but as a modifying agent with other mordants.
No mordant is needed, and the colours produced are the fastest known.
Some mordant the wool first with alum, but it does not seem to need it.
It is one of the substantive colours and does not need any mordant.
- sarcastic or caustic
- having the properties of a mordant
- a substance used before the application of a dye, possessing the ability to fix colours in textiles, leather, etcSee also lake 2 (def. 1)
- an acid or other corrosive fluid used to etch lines on a printing plate
- (tr) to treat (a fabric, yarn, etc) with a mordant
- music a melodic ornament consisting of the rapid alternation of a note with a note one degree lower than itAlso called: lower mordent
Word Origin and History for mordant
late 15c., "caustic" (of words, speech), from Middle French mordant, literally "biting," present participle of mordre "to bite," from Latin mordere "to bite, bite into; nip, sting;" figuratively "to pain, cause hurt," perhaps from PIE root mer- (2) "to rub away, harm" (see smart (v.)). Related: Mordantly. The noun sense in dyeing is first recorded 1791; the adjective in this sense is from 1902. Related: Mordancy; mordantly.
- Serving to fix colors in dyeing.
- A reagent, such as tannic acid, that fixes dyes to cells, tissues, or other materials.
- To treat with a mordant.