styp·​tic | \ ˈstip-tik How to pronounce styptic (audio) \

Definition of styptic

: tending to contract or bind : astringent especially : tending to check bleeding

Other Words from styptic

styptic noun

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People long ago recognized the power of certain substances to bind or contract organic tissue-a quality that has various uses and benefits. English speakers weren't original in this knowledge, and they copied speakers of Greek, Latin, and Anglo-French when they designated this quality as "styptic" in the Middle Ages. (The word in Greek, "styptikos," is from "styphein," which means "to contract.") One thing that a styptic substance can do is stop bleeding, and almost from the start the word styptic has referred to this quality especially. It has also been applied to things that make your mouth contract, or pucker, as well as to substances that might affect your digestive organs with a "binding" effect.

Examples of styptic in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web For those especially pernicious cuts, however, apply a styptic pencil. Scott Christian, Esquire, 28 July 2017

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

First Known Use of styptic

14th century, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for styptic

Middle English stiptik, from Anglo-French, from Latin stypticus, from Greek styptikos, from styphein to contract

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The first known use of styptic was in the 14th century

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Cite this Entry

“Styptic.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 27 Nov. 2021.

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More Definitions for styptic


styp·​tic | \ ˈstip-tik How to pronounce styptic (audio) \

Medical Definition of styptic

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: tending to check bleeding the styptic effect of cold especially : having the property of arresting oozing of blood (as from a shallow surface injury) when applied to a bleeding part styptic agent



Medical Definition of styptic (Entry 2 of 2)

: an agent (as a drug) having a styptic effect

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