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[uh-strin-juh nt] /əˈstrɪn dʒənt/
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.
Origin of astringent
1535-45; < Latin astringent- (stem of astringēns) present participle of astringere to astringe; see -ent
Related forms
astringency, noun
astringently, adverb
nonastringency, noun
nonastringent, adjective
nonastringently, adverb
2, 3. sharp, harsh, rigorous. See acid. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for astringent
  • It was dry, astringent really, and its range was narrow.
  • Thick, astringent chromatic harmonies come in tightly bound chords to create nervous sonorities.
  • But along with the sweetness, there is often an undercurrent of bitterness, as tart and astringent as a splash of vinegar.
  • They were textured but light, with a modernistic sheen, and neither cloying nor astringent.
  • The astringent harmony of stacked-up sustained tones is meant to hover with quiet intensity, and the cellphone ruined the effect.
  • Strife and violence find expression in webs of lurching counterpoint, astringent harmonies and searing orchestral blasts.
  • Vesuvian, they bubble and smoke in a magma of astringent garlic butter and parsley.
  • Cattle seem to avoid this plant, probably because of its astringent qualities.
  • Cultivars selected included astringent and non-astringent types.
  • The fruits are notoriously astringent if they are eaten unripe.
British Dictionary definitions for astringent


severe; harsh
sharp or invigorating
causing contraction of body tissues, checking blood flow, or restricting secretions of fluids; styptic
an astringent drug or lotion
Derived Forms
astringency, astringence, noun
astringently, adverb
Word Origin
C16: from Latin astringēns drawing together; see astrict
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for astringent

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.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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astringent in Medicine

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.
The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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astringent in Science
A substance or preparation, such as alum, that draws together or constricts body tissues, resulting in decreased flow of blood or other secretions.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary
Copyright © 2002. Published by Houghton Mifflin. All rights reserved.
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