• enPR kôs'tĭk, IPA: /ˈkɔːstɪk/, /ˈkɒstɪk/


  1. Capable of burning, corroding or destroying organic tissue.
  2. (of language, etc.) Sharp, bitter, cutting, biting, and sarcastic in a scathing way.
    • 1853, Charlotte Brontë, Villette
      Madame Beck esteemed me learned and blue; Miss Fanshawe, caustic, ironic, and cynical
    • c. 1930, W.H.Auden, "The Quest"
      though he came too late / To join the martyrs, there was still a place / Among the tempters for a caustic tongue / / To test the resolution of the young / With tales of the small failings of the great
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Translations Translations Noun

caustic (plural caustics)

  1. Any substance or means which, applied to animal or other organic tissue, burns, corrodes, or destroys it by chemical action; an escharotic.
  2. (optics, computer graphics) The envelope of reflected or refracted rays of light for a given surface or object.
  3. (mathematics) The envelope of reflected or refracted rays for a given curve.
  4. (informal, chemistry) Caustic soda.
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