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capable of burning, corroding, or destroying living tissue.
severely critical or sarcastic:
a caustic remark.
a caustic substance.

caustic curve.
caustic surface.

Contemporary Examples

Historical Examples

capable of burning or corroding by chemical action: caustic soda
sarcastic; cutting: a caustic reply
of, relating to, or denoting light that is reflected or refracted by a curved surface
Also called caustic surface. a surface that envelops the light rays reflected or refracted by a curved surface
Also called caustic curve. a curve formed by the intersection of a caustic surface with a plane
(chem) a caustic substance, esp an alkali

c.1400, “burning, corrosive,” from Latin causticus “burning, caustic,” from Greek kaustikos “capable of burning; corrosive,” from kaustos “combustible; burnt,” verbal adjective from kaiein, the Greek word for “to burn” (transitive and intransitive) in all periods, of uncertain origin with no certain cognates outside Greek. Figurative sense of “sarcastic” is attested from 1771. As a noun, early 15c., from the adjective.

caustic caus·tic (kô’stĭk)

A hydroxide of a light metal.

A caustic material or substance.


Capable of burning, corroding, dissolving, or eating away by chemical action.

Of or relating to light emitted from a point source and reflected or refracted from a curved surface.

Causing a burning or stinging sensation.


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