[ mawr-dey-shuh s ]
/ mɔrˈdeɪ ʃəs /


biting or given to biting.
sharp or caustic in style, tone, etc.

Nearby words

  1. morbus,
  2. morceau,
  3. morcellation,
  4. morcellation operation,
  5. morcha,
  6. mordaciously,
  7. mordacity,
  8. mordancy,
  9. mordant,
  10. mordant rouge

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 Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for mordacious

  • 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


/ (mɔːˈdeɪʃəs) /


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

Word Origin for mordacious

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.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper