• synonyms


[mawr-dey-shuh s]
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  1. biting or given to biting.
  2. sharp or caustic in style, tone, etc.
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Origin of mordacious

1640–50; < Latin mordāci- (stem of mordāx given to biting) + -ous
Related formsmor·da·cious·ly, adverbmor·dac·i·ty [mawr-das-i-tee] /mɔrˈdæs ɪ ti/, noun
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Related Words


Examples from the Web for mordacious

Historical Examples

  • Unable longer to endure the lash of his mordacious wit, Shaynon turned and left them alone on the balcony.

    The Day of Days

    Louis Joseph Vance

  • Grand-duke and taxes were synonymes, according to this mordacious lexicographer!

British Dictionary definitions for mordacious


  1. sarcastic, caustic, or biting
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Derived Formsmordaciously, adverbmordacity (mɔːˈdæsɪtɪ) or mordaciousness, noun

Word Origin

C17: from Latin mordax, from mordēre to bite
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 mordacious


"given to biting," 1640s (originally figurative), from Latin mordac-, stem of mordax, from mordere "to bite," perhaps from PIE root mer- (2) "to rub, harm" (see smart (v.)). Related: Mordacity.

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper