Definition of mordant in English:
(Especially of humor) having or showing a sharp or critical quality; biting: a mordant sense of humor
More example sentences
- His songs are frequently grim, a catalogue of human misery shot through with mordant humour and flashes of spiritual or psychological calm.
- There is an amount of mordant humour surrounding the shocking murders.
- Still, the film is worth watching for its mordant humour and brutally honest view of addiction.
nounBack to top
1A substance, typically an inorganic oxide, that combines with a dye or stain and thereby fixes it in a material.
- In order to get the color to stick well on the fiber, the wool was usually pretreated with a metal compound called a mordant; common mordants, still used in craft dying, are compounds of aluminum, iron, copper, tin, and chromium.
- The application by hand of various mordants was part of a complex process of dyeing, applying and clearing resists, washing, and bleaching.
- Wearden's text gives good, clear explanations and descriptions of the various weaving techniques, not just pile but also flat woven, and discusses dyes, mordants and related matters.
1.1An adhesive compound for fixing gold leaf.
- Gold leaf is too delicate to be laid directly on the relatively rough surface of plaster and so the gold leaf is backed with thicker and more robust tin foil using an oil mordant as the adhesive.
- At the appropriate moment, while the mordant was still tacky, scraps of gold leaf were laid over the area of decoration, the gold adhering to the lines of mordant but not to the dry paint beneath.
verb[with object] Back to top
- Example sentences
- He is an extraordinarily genial observer; the mordancy of his observations is therefore particularly striking.
- The book is funny, but with a mordancy which is hardly surprising when you consider the subject.
- The guiding musical spirit and godfather to the whole project is the conductor, who brings out all the mordancy and instrumental color suggested by the notes.
- Example sentences
- In her 80s and as mordantly witty as ever, she published her 22nd novel, The Finishing School, earlier this year.
- When the songs are at their wittiest, they are sharply and mordantly so.
- ‘Sure, Eileen, whatever you want,’ I said mordantly.