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caustic (adj) (of remarks and comments) biting, bitter, and severe; (of a substance) capable of burning, destroying, or dissolving other substances.

When we criticize a person very severely, with very strong words of disapproval, we are caustic, our remarks and comments are caustic. Caustic remarks can be very hurting and offensive. Politicians attack one another with caustic remarks. Critics of literature and of art use caustic words when their intention is not to judge a work of art, but to attack the artist personally. Substances like potassium carbonate, bleaching powder, and certain fluorides are very corrosive, and are therefore said to be caustic.

  • The press in advanced nations is sometimes very caustic in their criticism of the government, and in their attack of corrupt practices and politicians in the society.
  • Members of the United Nations have been very caustic about the military intervention of the US in Iraq, though they were not principally against some action to check Saddam Hussein and his ambitions.
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Last Modified : 11-May 2009
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