1 of 2


as·​trin·​gent ə-ˈstrin-jənt How to pronounce astringent (audio)
: causing a tightening of soft organic tissues : styptic
: suggestive of an astringent effect upon tissue : rigidly severe : austere
dry astringent comments
also : pungent, caustic
astringently adverb


2 of 2


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

Example Sentences

Adjective an astringent critic of modern movies
Recent Examples on the Web
Combined, these ingredients layer the six tastes of the Ayurvedic tradition: sweet, sour, salty, bitter, pungent and astringent. Pat Tanumihardja, Washington Post, 1 Feb. 2023 Chimpanzees, bonobos and gorillas eat rough and astringent leaves to purge intestinal parasites. Gabe Allen, Discover Magazine, 8 Mar. 2022 That astringent effect sometimes worked a little too well, as anyone who grew up in the ‘90s or early aughts might remember from splashing their skin red and flaky back in the day. Megan Mcintyre, Allure, 19 Jan. 2023 Revered in traditional medicine, oak bark is a potent source of tannins, which is a bitter compound that has an astringent effect, McKinnon says. Sarah Watts, Discover Magazine, 15 Feb. 2021 Grinding a coffee from Ethiopia just a bit coarser and steeping it a little less brought out a sweetness similar to oolong tea from a bean that was a bit astringent at first. Mario Cortez, San Francisco Chronicle, 23 Jan. 2023 The astringent ingredient was first introduced in skin-care products way back in the 1800s, but was used medicinally in Native American cultures long before that. Megan Mcintyre, Allure, 19 Jan. 2023 This formula doesn't contain astringent ingredients, so may not be as effective for those with oily or acne-prone skin who are looking to minimize oil. April Franzino, Good Housekeeping, 13 Nov. 2022 Camellia sinensis leaf extract provides antioxidant protection and offers mild astringent effects to tone the skin, while feverfew extract further supports the skin’s moisture retention abilities. Dallas News, 30 Nov. 2022
The alcohol-free formula also utilizes witch hazel as an astringent to help minimize the appearance of pores. Cristina Montemayor, Men's Health, 13 Feb. 2023 Or instead of an astringent, try using a toner made with gentler ingredients like camphor, green tea, or aloe vera. Angela Palmer, Verywell Health, 21 Jan. 2023 Post Shave Balm is witch hazel, a gentle natural astringent that helps to close pores and prevent razor bumps. Dallas News, 30 Nov. 2022 Mixing the astringent leaves into a milkshake seemed to be the most palatable option. Gabe Allen, Discover Magazine, 3 Aug. 2021 Witch hazel is a natural astringent, so it is often used to remove excess sebum and temporarily decrease the appearance of pores. Taylore Glynn, Allure, 20 Dec. 2022 The 34-year-old has an astringent, understated charisma. Sebastian Smee, Washington Post, 16 Dec. 2022 An astringent is a toner formula that's made with ingredients like alcohol that help remove excess oil from the skin. April Franzino, Good Housekeeping, 13 Nov. 2022 Tannins—compounds in wine derived from grape skins and seeds and oak barrels—have an astringent or drying quality in the mouth. Mike Desimone And Jeff Jenssen, Robb Report, 11 Nov. 2022 See More

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.

Word History


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

First Known Use


circa 1541, in the meaning defined at sense 1


1626, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of astringent was circa 1541

Dictionary Entries Near astringent

Cite this Entry

“Astringent.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 24 Mar. 2023.

Kids Definition


1 of 2 adjective
as·​trin·​gent ə-ˈstrin-jənt How to pronounce astringent (audio)
: able or tending to shrink body tissues
astringent lotions
astringently adverb


2 of 2 noun
: an astringent substance

Medical Definition


1 of 2 adjective
as·​trin·​gent ə-ˈstrin-jənt How to pronounce astringent (audio)
: having the property of causing contraction of soft organic tissues
astringent cosmetic lotions
: as
: tending to shrink mucous membranes or raw or exposed tissues : checking discharge (as of serum or mucus) : styptic
: tending to pucker the tissues of the mouth
astringent fruits
astringency noun
plural astringencies


2 of 2 noun
: an astringent agent or substance
Last Updated: - Updated example sentences
Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!

Which Came First?

  • baby chick with a brown egg
  • hot take or cold shoulder?
True or False

Test your knowledge - and maybe learn something along the way.

Solve today's spelling word game by finding as many words as you can with using just 7 letters. Longer words score more points.

Can you make 12 words with 7 letters?