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astringent (adj) (of taste) slightly bitter and fresh; (of comments) cleverly harsh; capable of stopping the bleeding of an injury; making the skin dry.
Some fruits like the gooseberry taste slightly bitter and sharp, though fresh. Such a taste is astringent. Most medicines are astringent. If a person makes cleverly harsh comments on others, either in writing or in speech, the comments are astringent. A substance that can stop an injury from bleeding is astringent. A cream or a liquid that keeps the skin dry and free from moisture is astringent.
- Almost all human beings like things that taste sweet, but there are occasions when at least some of us relish the astringent taste of some fruits.
- Benny's astringent comments on Laura were considered by all present at the party to be in a very bad taste, and ill-mannered of Benny to have made them.