as·​trin·​gent | \ ə-ˈstrin-jənt How to pronounce astringent (audio) \

Definition of astringent

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : causing a tightening of soft organic tissues : styptic
2 : suggestive of an astringent effect upon tissue : rigidly severe : austere dry astringent comments also : pungent, caustic



Definition of astringent (Entry 2 of 2)

: an astringent agent or substance: such as
a : a medicine for checking the discharge of mucus or serum by causing shrinkage of tissue
b : a liquid cosmetic for cleansing the skin and contracting the pores

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Other Words from astringent


astringently adverb

Examples of astringent in a Sentence

Adjective an astringent critic of modern movies
Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective Hermanis gives his pontiff a lot of nice, sarcastic lines, which Baryshnikov delivers with an astringent wit. Joan Acocella, The New York Review of Books, 14 May 2020 The choice is yours, but many gardeners prefer the non-astringent types that can be consumed like an apple. Tom Maccubbin,, 4 Sep. 2021 Hibiscus can be astringent, and many temper its puckery qualities with sugar to a cloying effect. Washington Post, 6 Aug. 2021 Pair these rich dishes with one of the specialty cocktails, like the astringent Nanjing Cocktail ($18), made with Knob Creek rye whiskey rinsed with duck fat and bitters that sparkle with Sichuan spices. Soleil Ho, San Francisco Chronicle, 12 Aug. 2021 Moving from Atlanta to the Bay Area, the novel also shifts from anxious teen drama to more astringent satire of second-generation Americans whose ambitions have pooled in Silicon Valley. Washington Post, 6 Apr. 2021 Tighter and more astringent in structure but also more body, melon, long finish, peaches, nice and clean and delicious. Per And Britt Karlsson, Forbes, 25 June 2021 Famed for its orchid-like fragrance, the tea grown on the north side of the mountain is sweet and pure, while that from the south is more pungent and astringent. Tom Parker Bowles, Robb Report, 14 June 2021 Scotch bonnet pepper and allspice give the chicken an astringent bite, while a soft blanket of thick crema helps to calm the palate. Soleil Ho, San Francisco Chronicle, 21 May 2021 Recent Examples on the Web: Noun Vinegar can act as an astringent to help relieve pain and itching from the rash, as can aluminum acetate, per the FDA. Maggie O'neill,, 14 May 2021 Sourced from Australia and made with 100% natural ingredients, this elixir is unlike most toners, which can be drying, astringent and harsh. Joseph Deacetis, Forbes, 28 Feb. 2021 Brightly astringent fermented ginger replaces the laphet in another salad. Hannah Goldfield, The New Yorker, 25 Sep. 2020 If your skin still feels oily, instead of washing again (which can make your skin produce even more oil), try an astringent after cleansing. Kristin Koch, Seventeen, 1 Aug. 2020 This is still a light beer, but the hops are able to linger on your tongue without any building astringent bitterness. Matt Allyn, Popular Mechanics, 23 July 2020 Staying Cool in the Midwest Readers, witch hazel is an astringent derived from a flowering plant. Heloise, Washington Post, 22 Aug. 2019 Baby powder is mostly talc, a mineral that is used to keep skin dry and as an astringent to prevent diaper rash. Jef Feeley,, 12 July 2019 And while there’s, justly, an uptick in interest in refreshing skin tonics during the warmer months, when an astringent can sop up excess oil to control shine and prevent breakouts, toning is just as essential when the temperatures dip . . Lauren Valenti, Vogue, 22 Oct. 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'astringent.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of astringent


circa 1541, in the meaning defined at sense 1


1626, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for astringent

Adjective and Noun

probably from Middle French, from Latin astringent-, astringens, present participle of astringere to bind fast, from ad- + stringere to bind tight — more at strain

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Time Traveler for astringent

Time Traveler

The first known use of astringent was circa 1541

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Dictionary Entries Near astringent



astringent bitters

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Statistics for astringent

Last Updated

4 Oct 2021

Cite this Entry

“Astringent.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 23 Oct. 2021.

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English Language Learners Definition of astringent

: causing body tissues (such as skin) to tighten
: having a sharp or bitter quality
: very critical in a sharp and often clever way


as·​trin·​gent | \ ə-ˈstrin-jənt How to pronounce astringent (audio) \

Kids Definition of astringent

: a substance that is able to shrink or tighten body tissues

Other Words from astringent

astringent adjective an astringent skin lotion


as·​trin·​gent | \ ə-ˈstrin-jənt How to pronounce astringent (audio) \

Medical Definition of astringent

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: having the property of causing contraction of soft organic tissues astringent cosmetic lotions : as
a : tending to shrink mucous membranes or raw or exposed tissues : checking discharge (as of serum or mucus) : styptic
b : tending to pucker the tissues of the mouth astringent fruits

Other Words from astringent

astringency \ -​jən-​sē How to pronounce astringent (audio) \ noun, plural astringencies



Medical Definition of astringent (Entry 2 of 2)

: an astringent agent or substance


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