Definition of astringent in English:


Line breaks: astrin|gent
Pronunciation: /əˈstrɪn(d)ʒ(ə)nt


  • 1Causing the contraction of skin cells and other body tissues: an astringent skin lotion
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    • If your skin cracks open, doctors sometimes prescribe wet dressings with mildly astringent properties to contract the skin, reduce secretions and prevent infection.
    • You will find that this lotion is slightly astringent, leaving your skin feeling cool and delightfully fragrant.
    • It was included, because of its astringent qualities, in skin tonics, and became a principal ingredient in shampoos and hair rinses.
  • 2Sharp or severe in manner or style: her astringent words had their effect
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    • This is a fine work with all the characteristics of the composer's style: astringent harmonies, strong motor rhythms and lyrical melodies.
    • I see it as more sardonic and astringent, in the manner of Prokofiev.
    • His less astringent manner could help him forge the strategic relationships his father couldn't.
    severe, sharp, stern, harsh, rough, acerbic, austere, caustic, mordant, trenchant; sarcastic, sardonic, scathing, cutting, incisive, penetrating, piercing, stinging, searing; wounding, hurtful, unkind, cruel, spiteful, waspish, poisonous, vicious; North American acerb
    informal bitchy, catty
    British informal sarky
    North American informal snarky
    rare acidulous, mordacious
  • 2.1(Of taste or smell) sharp or bitter: an astringent smell of rotting apples
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    • The bright green fruits are said to have a sour, sweet, bitter, and astringent taste, with a cooling energy.
    • Focus on spicy, bitter and astringent tastes, and reduce sweet, salty and sour-tasting foods.
    • The presence of phenols gives the water a slightly astringent taste and a light orange-yellowish colour.


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  • An astringent lotion applied to the skin to reduce bleeding from minor abrasions or as a cosmetic to make the skin less oily.
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    • Alcohol-based astringents and toners can make skin even drier.
    • They should not try to scrub the lesions away, and they should not use alcohol-based astringents that can dry and irritate their skin.
    • Also, avoid using astringents containing alcohol on anywhere but the most oily patches of skin.



More example sentences
  • It is an important issue because even trained tasters can have trouble distinguishing between bitterness and astringency.
  • There was no distinctive flavour apart from a slight astringency.
  • A warmly lyrical idiom gave place to a gritty astringency that must have been very disturbing to erstwhile admirers.


More example sentences
  • His use of astringently pretty colors, such as acidic pink and lime green, pushed the paintings toward a kind of industrial picturesque.
  • "Well, this is an interesting change of mind," Sandusky remarked astringently.
  • His novels stood out for being both remarkably well-written and astringently original.


mid 16th century: from French, from Latin astringent- 'pulling tight', from the verb astringere, from ad- 'towards' + stringere 'bind, pull tight'.

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