sharply caustic or sarcastic, as wit or a speaker; biting.
burning; corrosive.
having the property of fixing colors, as in dyeing.
a substance used in dyeing to fix the coloring matter, especially a metallic compound, as an oxide or hydroxide, that combines with the organic dye and forms an insoluble colored compound or lake in the fiber.
an adhesive substance for binding gold or silver leaf to a surface.
an acid or other corrosive substance used in etching to eat out the lines, areas, etc.
Music. mordent.
verb (used with object)
to impregnate or treat with a mordant.

1425–75; late Middle English < Middle French, present participle of mordre to bite ≪ Latin mordēre; see -ant

mordantly, adverb
unmordant, adjective
unmordantly, adverb

1. cutting, stinging, acerbic, scathing. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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World English Dictionary
mordant (ˈmɔːdənt)
1.  sarcastic or caustic
2.  having the properties of a mordant
3.  pungent
4.  See also lake a substance used before the application of a dye, possessing the ability to fix colours in textiles, leather, etc
5.  an acid or other corrosive fluid used to etch lines on a printing plate
6.  (tr) to treat (a fabric, yarn, etc) with a mordant
[C15: from Old French: biting, from mordre to bite, from Latin mordēre]

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
2009 © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009
Cite This Source's 21st Century Lexicon
Main Entry:  mordant1
Part of Speech:  adj
Definition:  biting and caustic
Etymology:  French mordre 'to bite'
Main Entry:  mordant2
Part of Speech:  adj
Definition:  pungent
Etymology:  French mordre 'to bite'
Main Entry:  mordant
Part of Speech:  n
Definition:  a corrosive chemical that fixes a dye
Etymology:  French mordre 'to bite'
Main Entry:  mordant
Part of Speech:  v
Definition:  to treat with a chemical that fixes a dye
Etymology:  French mordre 'to bite''s 21st Century Lexicon
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Word Origin & History

late 15c., "caustic" (of words, speech), from M.Fr. mordant, lit. "biting," prp. of mordre "to bite," from L. mordere "to bite or sting" (see smart (v.)). Related: Mordantly. The noun sense in dyeing is first recorded 1791; the adj. in this sense is from 1902.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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American Heritage
Medical Dictionary

mordant mor·dant (môr'dnt)
Serving to fix colors in dyeing. n.
A reagent, such as tannic acid, that fixes dyes to cells, tissues, or other materials. v. mor·dant·ed, mor·dant·ing, mor·dants
To treat with a mordant.

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
Fluid, mordant tales of articulate characters in crisis.
He showed himself a mordant editorialist with far-reaching influence.
But they are none the less mordant in their manners and handy with switch-blade
The difference being you are so prone to launch unnecessary attacks or mordant
  quips unprovoked.
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