Medicine/Medical. contracting; constrictive; styptic.
harshly biting; caustic:
his astringent criticism.
stern or severe; austere.
sharply incisive; pungent:
astringent wit.
Medicine/Medical. a substance that contracts the tissues or canals of the body, thereby diminishing discharges, as of mucus or blood.
a cosmetic that cleans the skin and constricts the pores.
Contemporary Examples

These protagonists want something just out of reach, and end up being the unintentional authors of their own astringent tragedies.
Chinelo Okparanta: Champion of the Stifled Mythili Rao August 18, 2013

And yet, there was always an astringent, bleakly humorous honesty to the man.
The Wonderful, Horrible Life of Henry Ford Richard Snow May 13, 2013

Historical Examples

astringent fomentations; as an infusion of oak-bark, or a slight solution of alum.
Zoonomia, Vol. II Erasmus Darwin

The wood is of an astringent nature, and if put into vinegar makes it stronger.
The History of Louisiana Le Page Du Pratz

Its present use is that of an astringent, tonic, and alterative, and also that of an expectorant.
Ginseng and Other Medicinal Plants A. R. (Arthur Robert) Harding

As this is an astringent, the doses must be proportioned accordingly, and the mixture is wholesome only while it remains sweet.
The Cook and Housekeeper’s Complete and Universal Dictionary; Including a System of Modern Cookery, in all Its Various Branches, Mary Eaton

Styptic, stip′tik, adj. drawing together: astringent: that stops bleeding.
Chambers’s Twentieth Century Dictionary (part 4 of 4: S-Z and supplements) Various

After the harsh, astringent drug, the flavour was soothing and gratifying.
The Slave of Silence Fred M. White

Imported grafted stock will take from our soil those elements which make an astringent, tough, insipid nut.
Northern Nut Growers Association Report of the Proceedings at the Second Annual Meeting Northern Nut Growers Association

When the skin is pale, lax, and wrinkled, astringent washes may be used.
The Ladies Book of Useful Information Anonymous

severe; harsh
sharp or invigorating
causing contraction of body tissues, checking blood flow, or restricting secretions of fluids; styptic
an astringent drug or lotion

1540s, from Latin astringentum (nominative astringens), present participle of astringere “to bind fast, tighten, contract,” from ad- “to” (see ad-) + stringere “draw tight” (see strain (v.)). As a noun from 1620s.

astringent as·trin·gent (ə-strĭn’jənt)
Causing contraction of tissues, arrest of secretion, or control of bleeding. n.
A substance or preparation, such as alum, that draws together or constricts body tissues and is effective in stopping the flow of blood or other secretions.
as·trin’gen·cy n.
A substance or preparation, such as alum, that draws together or constricts body tissues, resulting in decreased flow of blood or other secretions.


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