follow Dictionary.com

Love words? Sign up for our Word of the Day!

mordant

[mawr-dnt] /ˈmɔr dnt/
adjective
1.
sharply caustic or sarcastic, as wit or a speaker; biting.
2.
burning; corrosive.
3.
having the property of fixing colors, as in dyeing.
noun
4.
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.
5.
an adhesive substance for binding gold or silver leaf to a surface.
6.
an acid or other corrosive substance used in etching to eat out the lines, areas, etc.
7.
Music. mordent.
verb (used with object)
8.
to impregnate or treat with a mordant.
Origin
late Middle English
1425-1475
1425-75; late Middle English < Middle French, present participle of mordre to bite ≪ Latin mordēre; see -ant
Related forms
mordantly, adverb
unmordant, adjective
unmordantly, adverb
Synonyms
1. cutting, stinging, acerbic, scathing.
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
Cite This Source
British Dictionary definitions for unmordant

mordant

/ˈmɔːdənt/
adjective
1.
sarcastic or caustic
2.
having the properties of a mordant
3.
pungent
noun
4.
a substance used before the application of a dye, possessing the ability to fix colours in textiles, leather, etc See also lake2 (sense 1)
5.
an acid or other corrosive fluid used to etch lines on a printing plate
verb
6.
(transitive) to treat (a fabric, yarn, etc) with a mordant
Derived Forms
mordancy, noun
mordantly, adverb
Word Origin
C15: from Old French: biting, from mordre to bite, from Latin mordēre
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
Cite This Source
Word Origin and History for unmordant

mordant

adj.

late 15c., "caustic" (of words, speech), from Middle French mordant, literally "biting," present participle of mordre "to bite," from Latin mordere "to bite, bite into; nip, sting;" figuratively "to pain, cause hurt," perhaps from PIE root mer- (2) "to rub away, harm" (see smart (v.)). Related: Mordantly. The noun sense in dyeing is first recorded 1791; the adjective in this sense is from 1902. Related: Mordancy; mordantly.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
Cite This Source
unmordant in Medicine

mordant mor·dant (môr'dnt)
adj.
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.
Cite This Source

Word of the Day

Difficulty index for mordant

Some English speakers likely know this word

Word Value for unmordant

0
0
Scrabble Words With Friends

Nearby words for unmordant