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Don’t get it on your skin. It’s caustic.
  of a chemical substance:  corrosive; capable of destroying or eating away such as a strong acid


of a person:  sarcastic, critical, or harsh
 Mark word for later review on this computer
caustic caustics caustically causticity
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  • Don’t get it on your skin. It’s caustic.
  • She has a caustic sense of humor.
  • Caustic soda liberates heat when mixed with water.
  • It’s probably better that we don’t talk. It usually gets caustic when we do.

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  • caustic jokes about political assassination, talk-show hosts and medical ethics
  • "Do you?" asks Prim caustically.
    Suzanne Collins  --  Mockingjay
  • ’You don’t happen to know any good of him, do you?’ said Mr. Grimwig, caustically;
    Charles Dickens  --  Oliver Twist
  • On Rack 10 rows of next generation’s chemical workers were being trained in the toleration of lead, caustic soda, tar, chlorine.
    Aldous Huxley  --  Brave New World
  • "Oh," Beatrice said caustically, "the one you went chasing when you shoulda been minding your own business."
    Carl Hiassen  --  Hoot
  • You can do all manner of underhanded nice things when you have a caustic reputation.
    Markus Zusak  --  The Book Thief

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  • Mr. Justice Wargrave, mellowed by the excellent port, was being amusing in a caustic fashion, Dr. Armstrong and Tony Marston were listening to him.
    Agatha Christie  --  And Then There Were None
  • "Yes, it’s a disgrace," agrees the caustic, some-what original, and entirely imposing lady who presides over this "But the stamps work, don’t they?"
    Truman Capote  --  In Cold Blood
  • Her new clothes were the subject of caustic comment.
    Willa Cather  --  My Antonia
  • said Scrooge, caustic and cold as ever.
    Charles Dickens  --  A Christmas Carol
  • some kind of caustic medicine splashed all over him;
    Franz Kafka  --  Metamorphosis
  • At the same time it continued to boil, forming thick, low clouds, dark as tar, caustic, and ready to burst into flame.
    Patrick Rothfuss  --  The Name of the Wind
  • There is an almost caustic discomfort in my lower chest and then down my right arm and right leg, what feels like lines of internal burns that sharply prickle and itch and ache.
    Chang-rae Lee  --  A Gesture Life
  • Evidently the Tilghman brothers owned a giant vat of some caustic solution that stripped everything to the bare wood.
    Anne Tayler  --  A Spool of Blue Thread
  • It could be at the same time caustic and seductively convivial.
    William Styron  --  Sophie’s Choice
  • Or I could," I added caustically.
    Diana Gabaldon  --  Outlander
  • I am very amiable and have a caustic wit," continued Prince Andrew, "and at Anna Pavlovna’s they listen to me.
    Leo Tolstoy  --  War and Peace
  • The laugh itself was caustic as acid.
    Cassandra Clare  --  City of Ashes
  • Cecilia Vanger can be extremely caustic.
    Stieg Larsson  --  The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo
  • He snapped orders and lost his patience before the smallest difficulty; when he lost his patience, he screamed at people: he had a vocabulary of insults that carried a caustic, insidious, almost feminine malice; his face was sullen.
    Ayn Rand  --  The Fountainhead
  • "A fine midwife your Prissy will make," Scarlett remarked caustically.
    Margaret Mitchell  --  Gone with the Wind
  • ’Suction, ammonia, oil, the use of the knife, application of fresh mold, lunar caustic, leaves of certain plants, all these and more are mentioned.
    Johann Wyss  --  The Swiss Family Robinson
  • I recognized some spurges that let their caustic, purgative sap trickle out.
    Jules Verne  --  Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea
  • Gregarious by nature, Hall proved to be a skillful raconteur with a caustic Kiwi wit.
    Jon Krakauer  --  Into Thin Air
  • And they had the caustic knowledge that no one had come between them and tragedy.
    Laura Hillenbrand  --  Unbroken
  • Our old friend caustic.
    James Joyce  --  Ulysses
  • Three days later Bazarov came into his father’s room and asked him if he had any caustic.
    Ivan Turgenev  --  Fathers and Sons
  • The key that locks up the acids and caustic alkalies!
    Gustave Flaubert  --  Madame Bovary
  • ’You are a piece of caustic, Tom,’ retorted Mr. James Harthouse.
    Charles Dickens  --  Hard Times
  • Izz was by nature the sauciest and most caustic of all the four girls who had loved Clare.
    Thomas Hardy  --  Tess of the d’Urbervilles
  • But then I remembered the chair at Heming-way’s house had been lodged in a manchineel tree and must have been coated with a little bit of the tree’s caustic sap.
    Jack Gantos  --  Hole in My Life
  • Dawes stared up at the picture with a caustic expression on his face.
    D.H. Lawrence  --  Sons and Lovers
  • He laughed caustically.
    Joseph Heller  --  Catch-22
  • She remained undisturbed by his caustic outbursts, sometimes asking the same question over and over again in different ways and carefully considering what little information he might let escape in spite of himself.
    Anne Rice  --  Interview with the Vampire
  • The caustic laxative worked so well that Hawley marketed it commercially under the disarmingly innocuous name Slim Jim.
    Laura Hillenbrand  --  Seabiscuit
  • The difference of accent, the excitability of the singer, the intense local feeling, and the seriousness with which he worked himself up to a climax, surprised this set of worthies, who were only too prone to shut up their emotions with caustic words.
    Thomas Hardy  --  The Mayor of Casterbridge
  • This going to the Lighthouse was a passion of his, she saw, and then, as if her husband had not said enough, with his caustic saying that it would not be fine tomorrow, this odious little man went and rubbed it in all over again.
    Virginia Woolf  --  To the Lighthouse
  • The words came out more caustic than I intended.
    James Patterson  --  Saving the World and Other Extreme Sports
  • "That may be," he said caustically.
    Arundhati Roy  --  The God of Small Things
  • A caustic spirit—un peu sauvage.
    Edith Wharton  --  The Age of Innocence
  • HOPE—(caustically) Yes, and bejees, if I ever seen you throw fifty cents on the bar now, I’d know I had delirium tremens!
    Eugene O’Neill  --  The Iceman Cometh
  • Mr. Deane, he considered, was the "knowingest" man of his acquaintance, and he had besides a ready causticity of tongue that made an agreeable supplement to Mr. Tulliver’s own tendency that way, which had remained in rather an inarticulate condition.
    George Eliot  --  The Mill on the Floss
  • As I raged on like this I cut my chin in the usual place and had to apply a caustic to the wound; and even so there was my clean collar, scarce put on, to change again, and all this for an invitation that did not give me the slightest pleasure.
    Hermann Hesse  --  Steppenwolf
  • In another town, spotting from the platform three of his enemies sitting quietly in his audience while he characterized their resolutions as "fungus cancers," he caustically referred to them by name "as demure as three prostitutes at a christening."
    John F. Kennedy  --  Profiles in Courage
  • As they pushed out, giving and receiving curious impersonal glances, Amory decided that he liked the movies, wanted to enjoy them as the row of upper classmen in front had enjoyed them, with their arms along the backs of the seats, their comments Gaelic and caustic, their attitude a mixture of critical wit and tolerant amusement.
    F. Scott Fitzgerald  --  This Side of Paradise
  • An occasional caustic allusion to "your friends the Wellington Brys," or to "the little Jew who has bought the Greiner house—some one told us you knew him, Miss Bart,"—showed Lily that she was in disfavour with that portion of society which, while contributing least to its amusement, has assumed the right to decide what forms that amusement shall take.
    Edith Wharton  --  The House of Mirth
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Associated words [difficulty]:   caustic [4]
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Most commonly used in these subjects:   Medicine, Sports, Science
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