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.

1535–45; < Latin astringent- (stem of astringēns) present participle of astringere to astringe; see -ent

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. 2014.
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World English Dictionary
astringent (əˈstrɪndʒənt)
1.  severe; harsh
2.  sharp or invigorating
3.  causing contraction of body tissues, checking blood flow, or restricting secretions of fluids; styptic
4.  an astringent drug or lotion
[C16: from Latin astringēns drawing together; see astrict]

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
2009 © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
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Word Origin & History

1540s, from L. astringentum (nom. astringens), prp. of astringere "to bind fast, tighten, contract," from ad- "to" + stringere "draw tight" (see strain (v.)).
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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American Heritage
Medical Dictionary

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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American Heritage
Science Dictionary
astringent   (ə-strĭn'jənt)  Pronunciation Key 
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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Encyclopedia Britannica


any of a group of substances that cause the contraction or shrinkage of tissues and that dry up secretions. Astringents are usually classified into three groups according to their mode of action: (1) those that decrease the blood supply by narrowing the small blood vessels (e.g., epinephrine and cocaine), (2) those that abstract water from the tissue (e.g., glycerol and alcohol), and (3) those that coagulate the superficial tissue layers into a crust (e.g., metallic astringents, such as calamine or alum). Used in medicine to reduce swollen mucous membranes that result from inflammations of the nasal, gastrointestinal, and urinary passages, astringents are also frequently employed to dry up excessive secretions and (in this connection they are often known as styptics) to stop bleeding

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Encyclopedia Britannica, 2008. Encyclopedia Britannica Online.
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Example sentences
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
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