scathing 1 of 2


2 of 2


present participle of scathe

Synonym Chooser

How does the adjective scathing contrast with its synonyms?

Some common synonyms of scathing are acrid, caustic, and mordant. While all these words mean "stingingly incisive," scathing implies indignant attacks delivered with fierce severity.

a scathing satire

When might acrid be a better fit than scathing?

The synonyms acrid and scathing are sometimes interchangeable, but acrid implies bitterness and often malevolence.

acrid invective

When is it sensible to use caustic instead of scathing?

In some situations, the words caustic and scathing are roughly equivalent. However, caustic suggests a biting wit.

caustic comments

Where would mordant be a reasonable alternative to scathing?

The words mordant and scathing are synonyms, but do differ in nuance. Specifically, mordant suggests a wit that is used with deadly effectiveness.

mordant reviews of the play

Thesaurus Entries Near scathing

Cite this Entry

“Scathing.” Thesaurus, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 18 May. 2024.

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