22 November 2004

Word for the Day

mordant · 'mor-d&nt · adjective

1 : biting and caustic in thought, manner, or style: incisive (a mordant wit)

2 : acting as a mordant (see noun below)

3 : burning, pungent, caustic

-- mordantly adverb


1 : a chemical that fixes a dye in or on a substance by combining with the dye to form an insoluble compound

2 : a corroding substance used in etching

––transitive verb
: to treat with a mordant

Etymology: Middle English, from Middle French, present participle of mordre to bite, from Latin mordEre; perhaps akin to Sanskrit mrdnAti: 'he presses, rubs'

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