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Definition of "mordant" []

  • Bitingly sarcastic: mordant satire. (adjective)
  • Incisive and trenchant: an inquisitor's mordant questioning. (adjective)
  • Bitingly painful. (adjective)
  • Serving to fix colors in dyeing. (adjective)
  • A reagent, such as tannic acid, that fixes dyes to cells, tissues, or textiles or other materials. (noun)

American Heritage(R) Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition. Copyright (c) 2011 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.

Use "mordant" in a sentence
  • "The technique, attributed to Cornelis Drebbel, used a tin mordant to brighten the color produced by cochineal. 11 The discovery, as reported in the eighteenth century, was a fortuitous accident similar to that of Prussian blue; fortunate in that the discovery happened to someone able to recognize and exploit it. reference Drebbel, it was said, accidentally broke a container of tin-infused aqua regia over a container of the cochineal extract used in making thermometers."
  • "In the case of Cornelis Drebbel, who invented a bright red dye color by mixing cochineal with a tin mordant, we cannot prove that the inspiration for the invention was directly related to this production method for gold purples, but, even if the connection is only circumstantial, it is a circumstance we cannot completely ignore."
  • "In using that expression (or the word mordant in connection with the troops) she made a gesture of kneading with her hand, putting her head on one side and half-closing her eyes like an art-student."