- 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
Examples from the Web for mordantly
Rylance was unforgettable as the mordantly sly king in Richard III, giving a brilliant new twist to a classic role.Who Will Win the Tony Awards?
June 7, 2014
Booklist says her “brilliantly structured stories are mordantly funny, haunting, and wise, making for a glorious collection.”This Week's Hot Reads
The Daily Beast
November 22, 2010
Another notable figure was Tom Hood the younger, mordantly humorous.The Letters of Ambrose Bierce
- 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
Word Origin and History for mordantly
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.