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

1350–1400; Middle English < Latin causticus < Greek kaustikós burning, caustic, equivalent to kaust(ós) burnt (verbal adjective of kaíein to burn) + -ikos -ic

caustically, causticly, adverb
causticity [kaw-stis-i-tee] , causticness, noun
noncaustic, adjective
noncaustically, adverb
overcaustic, adjective
overcaustically, adverb
overcausticity, noun
uncaustic, adjective
uncaustically, adverb

2. biting, mordant, bitter, scathing, acid. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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World English Dictionary
caustic (ˈkɔːstɪk)
1.  capable of burning or corroding by chemical action: caustic soda
2.  sarcastic; cutting: a caustic reply
3.  of, relating to, or denoting light that is reflected or refracted by a curved surface
4.  Also called: caustic surface a surface that envelops the light rays reflected or refracted by a curved surface
5.  Also called: caustic curve a curve formed by the intersection of a caustic surface with a plane
6.  chem a caustic substance, esp an alkali
[C14: from Latin causticus, from Greek kaustikos, from kaiein to burn]

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
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Word Origin & History

1550s, from O.Fr. caustique, from L. causticus, from Gk. kaustikos "capable of burning," from kaustos "combustible," from kaiein, the Gk. word for "to burn" in all periods, of uncertain origin with no known cognates outside Gk. Figurative sense of "sarcastic" is attested from 1771.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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American Heritage
Medical Dictionary

caustic caus·tic (kô'stĭk)

  1. A hydroxide of a light metal.

  2. A caustic material or substance.

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

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

  3. Causing a burning or stinging sensation.

The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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Example sentences
Make sure you have room for it--cutting it back is dangerous because of its
  caustic sap.
Lye is a caustic substance traditionally used to make soap.
The fuel was then refined on the ship, he says, using a process in which
  caustic soda is blended into gasoline to remove sulfur.
Green cleaning solutions can keep your toilet as clean as caustic commercial
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