Medicine/Medical. contracting; constrictive; styptic.
harshly biting; caustic: his astringent criticism.
stern or severe; austere.
sharply incisive; pungent: astringent wit.


Medicine/Medical. a substance that contracts the tissues or canals of the body, thereby diminishing discharges, as of mucus or blood.
a cosmetic that cleans the skin and constricts the pores.

Origin of astringent

1535–45; < Latin astringent- (stem of astringēns) present participle of astringere to astringe; see -ent
Related formsas·trin·gen·cy, nounas·trin·gent·ly, adverbnon·as·trin·gen·cy, nounnon·as·trin·gent, adjectivenon·as·trin·gent·ly, adverb

Synonyms for astringent

2, 3. sharp, harsh, rigorous.

Synonym study

2, 4. See acid. Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Related Words for astringent

sharp, tonic, cutting, bitter, acetic, acrid, biting

Examples from the Web for astringent

Contemporary Examples of astringent

Historical Examples of astringent

British Dictionary definitions for astringent



severe; harsh
sharp or invigorating
causing contraction of body tissues, checking blood flow, or restricting secretions of fluids; styptic


an astringent drug or lotion
Derived Formsastringency or astringence, nounastringently, adverb

Word Origin for astringent

C16: from Latin astringēns drawing together; see astrict
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012

Word Origin and History for astringent

1540s, from Latin astringentum (nominative astringens), present participle of astringere "to bind fast, tighten, contract," from ad- "to" (see ad-) + stringere "draw tight" (see strain (v.)). As a noun from 1620s.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

astringent in Medicine




Causing contraction of tissues, arrest of secretion, or control of bleeding.


A substance or preparation, such as alum, that draws together or constricts body tissues and is effective in stopping the flow of blood or other secretions.
Related formsas•tringen•cy n.
The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.

astringent in Science



A substance or preparation, such as alum, that draws together or constricts body tissues, resulting in decreased flow of blood or other secretions.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary Copyright © 2011. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.