- An example of caustic is the effect mustard gas has on the skin.
- An example of caustic is a boyfriend who is emotionally abusive to his girlfriend.
- that can burn, eat away, or destroy tissue by chemical action; corrosive
- cutting or sarcastic in utterance; biting
- designating or of the curved radial surface, or a plane curve in this surface, formed by the reflection or refraction of rays from a curved solid surface
Origin of causticMiddle English caustik from Classical Latin causticus from Classical Greek kaustikos from kaustos, burning from kaiein, to burn
- any caustic substance, esp. caustic soda
- a caustic surface or curve
Origin of causticL causticum < the adj.
- Capable of burning, corroding, dissolving, or eating away by chemical action.
- Sarcastic or cutting; biting: “The caustic jokes … deal with such diverse matters as political assassination, talk-show hosts, medical ethics” ( Frank Rich )
- Given to making caustic remarks: a caustic TV commentator.
- A caustic material or substance.
- A hydroxide of a light metal.
- The enveloping surface formed by light rays reflecting or refracting from a curved surface, especially one with spherical aberration.
Origin of causticMiddle English caustik from Latin causticus from Greek kaustikos from kaustos from kaiein kau- to burn
(comparative more caustic, superlative most caustic)
- Any substance or means which, applied to animal or other organic tissue, burns, corrodes, or destroys it by chemical action; an escharotic.
- (optics, computer graphics) The envelope of reflected or refracted rays of light for a given surface or object.
- (mathematics) The envelope of reflected or refracted rays for a given curve.
- (informal, chemistry) caustic soda
From the Greek καυστός (kaustos, “burnt”), via the Latin causticus (“burning”).