caustic


1caus·tic

adjective \ˈks-tik\

: able to destroy or burn something by chemical action

: very harsh and critical

Full Definition of CAUSTIC

1
:  capable of destroying or eating away by chemical action :  corrosive
2
:  marked by incisive sarcasm
3
:  relating to or being the surface or curve of a caustic
caus·ti·cal·ly \-ti-k(ə-)lē\ adverb
caus·tic·i·ty \k-ˈsti-sə-tē\ noun

Examples of CAUSTIC

  1. The chemical was so caustic that it ate through the pipes.
  2. She wrote a caustic report about the decisions that led to the crisis.
  3. His [Roosevelt's] caustic cousin, Alice Roosevelt Longworth, called him a sissy and a mama's boy. —Garry Wills, Atlantic, April 1994

Origin of CAUSTIC

Latin causticus, from Greek kaustikos, from kaiein to burn
First Known Use: 14th century

Synonym Discussion of CAUSTIC

caustic, mordant, acrid, scathing mean stingingly incisive. caustic suggests a biting wit <caustic comments>. mordant suggests a wit that is used with deadly effectiveness <mordant reviews of the play>. acrid implies bitterness and often malevolence <acrid invective>. scathing implies indignant attacks delivered with fierce severity <a scathing satire>.

Other Chemical Engineering Terms

alkali, cation, decant, hygroscopic, isotope, oxidize, slurry, solute, viscous

2caus·tic

noun \ˈks-tik\

Definition of CAUSTIC

1
:  a caustic agent: as
a :  a substance that burns or destroys organic tissue by chemical action
b :  sodium hydroxide
2
:  the envelope of rays emanating from a point and reflected or refracted by a curved surface

Origin of CAUSTIC

(see 1caustic)
First Known Use: 15th century

Other Chemical Engineering Terms

alkali, cation, decant, hygroscopic, isotope, oxidize, slurry, solute, viscous

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