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caustic

[kaw-stik]
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adjective
  1. capable of burning, corroding, or destroying living tissue.
  2. severely critical or sarcastic: a caustic remark.
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noun
  1. a caustic substance.
  2. Optics.
    1. caustic curve.
    2. caustic surface.
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Origin of caustic

1350–1400; Middle English < Latin causticus < Greek kaustikós burning, caustic, equivalent to kaust(ós) burnt (verbal adjective of kaíein to burn) + -ikos -ic
Related formscaus·ti·cal·ly, caus·tic·ly, adverbcaus·tic·i·ty [kaw-stis-i-tee] /kɔˈstɪs ɪ ti/, caus·tic·ness, nounnon·caus·tic, adjectivenon·caus·ti·cal·ly, adverbo·ver·caus·tic, adjectiveo·ver·caus·ti·cal·ly, adverbo·ver·caus·tic·i·ty, nounun·caus·tic, adjectiveun·caus·ti·cal·ly, adverb

Synonyms for caustic

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Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Related Words for causticity

acridity, corrosiveness, incisiveness, mordacity, mordancy, trenchancy

Examples from the Web for causticity

Historical Examples of causticity

  • I know it will be all sense for the church, and all causticity for schism.

    Shirley

    Charlotte Bront

  • He now knew to what the causticity of alkalies is owing, and how to induce it, or remove it, at pleasure.

  • The work was more suited to the meridian of Edinburgh; and from causes sufficiently obvious, its personality and causticity.

  • "Well, I suppose we must pity his errors," observed Miss Patty, with some causticity.

  • But I am very far from thinking that the causticity of quick-lime is at all owing to this circumstance.


British Dictionary definitions for causticity

caustic

adjective
  1. capable of burning or corroding by chemical actioncaustic soda
  2. sarcastic; cuttinga caustic reply
  3. of, relating to, or denoting light that is reflected or refracted by a curved surface
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noun
  1. Also called: caustic surface a surface that envelops the light rays reflected or refracted by a curved surface
  2. Also called: caustic curve a curve formed by the intersection of a caustic surface with a plane
  3. chem a caustic substance, esp an alkali
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Derived Formscaustical, adjectivecaustically, adverbcausticity (kɔːˈstɪsɪtɪ) or causticness, noun

Word Origin for caustic

C14: from Latin causticus, from Greek kaustikos, from kaiein to burn
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 causticity

caustic

adj.

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.

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

causticity in Medicine

caustic

(kôstĭk)
n.
  1. A hydroxide of a light metal.
  2. A caustic material or substance.
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adj.
  1. Capable of burning, corroding, dissolving, or eating away by chemical action.
  2. Of or relating to light emitted from a point source and reflected or refracted from a curved surface.
  3. Causing a burning or stinging sensation.
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The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.