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Mordant   Listen
Mordant  adj.  
Biting; caustic; sarcastic; keen; severe.
(Dyeing & Calico Printing) Serving to fix colors.

Collaborative International Dictionary of English 0.48

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"Mordant" Quotes from Famous Books

... one's self with knowledge, and no need of self-reproach because one is content to remain more or less ignorant of many things which interest his fellow-creatures. We gain a good deal of knowledge through the atmosphere; we learn a great deal by accidental hearsay, provided we have the mordant in our own consciousness which makes the wise remark, the significant fact, the instructive incident, take hold upon it. After the stage of despair comes the period of consolation. We soon find that we are not ...
— The Autocrat of the Breakfast-Table • Oliver Wendell Holmes, Sr. (The Physician and Poet not the Jurist)

... not stay as they used to! They will be voyaging," said the guest. "They build outlandish craft and forthfare, no matter what you cry to them!" His voice had a mordant note. "I know. I've got one myself—a nephew, not a son. But I am his guardian and he's in my house, and it is the same. If I buy Black Hill, Glenfernie, I hope that your son and my nephew may be friends. ...
— Foes • Mary Johnston

... are classified as "anilines." They have worked a revolution in all the arts in which colors are used. Employed without a mordant, with few exceptions, they are measurably affected by both light, heat, moisture, or other changes and as made into inks are never permanent. Hence they should not be used for records, because if obliterated from ...
— Forty Centuries of Ink • David N. Carvalho

... chewed tobacco enormously. After pricking away for a few minutes at the design on the arm or some portion of the body, he would deluge it with a flood of tobacco spit, which, he claimed, acted as a kind of mordant. Piping this off with a filthy rag, he would study the effect for an instant, and then go ahead with another series of ...
— Andersonville, complete • John McElroy

... neatly-sealed little packet in Nan's hand—that he had actually proposed that she should have another gown made after the same pattern for every-day wear. And he had taken her himself directly after breakfast down to Mordant's, and had chosen her this dress. He had never done such a thing before, even for Grace: so no wonder Mattie was in the seventh heaven ...
— Not Like Other Girls • Rosa N. Carey

... marriage: you can only undo the mischief with infinite woe. I know of one man who has an error of youth of this kind on his mind—a fancy-dress costume affair, Crusader or Templar—of which he is more ashamed than many men would be of the meanest sins. For sometimes the camera has its mordant moods, and amazes you by its saturnine estimate of your merits. This man was perhaps a little out of harmony with the garments of chivalry, and a trifle complacent and vain at the time. But the photograph of him is so cynical and contemptuous, so merciless ...
— Select Conversations with an Uncle • H. G. Wells

... of observation and retention, were quickened by an irritation of the cuticle, that in France it was customary to whip the children annually at the boundaries of the parish, lest the true place of them might ever be lost through neglect of so inexpensive a mordant for the memory. From this practice the older school of critics would seem to have taken a hint for keeping fixed the limits of good taste, and what was somewhat vaguely called classical English. To mark these limits ...
— Among My Books - First Series • James Russell Lowell

... For the copper was there to produce a 'lake' or copper-salt of the vegetable alkaloids, which copper-lakes are among the most brilliant and most permanent of colouring matters; the alum was there as a 'mordant'; and even the blood was doubtless there incorporated for better reasons than superstitious ones, in all probability for the purpose of clarifying (by means of its coagulating albumen) the ...
— The Legacy of Greece • Various

... was, as an old clubman had recently said of him, "so very young." He lacked the restraint usual in cultured Englishmen, and had the frankly passionate manner which one associates with the South. His uncle, Colonel Deacon, a mordant wit, would ...
— Tales of Chinatown • Sax Rohmer

... her shy and reticent hours; Dragging to light her blinking, slothful moods; Publishing fretful seasons when her powers Worked wild and sullen in her solitudes, Or when her mordant laughter shook ...
— The Wit and Humor of America, Volume I. (of X.) • Various

... eaux flamboient En se heurtant comme des blocs, Les dogues de l'abme aboient Et hurlent en mordant les rocs; —Mais demain tous ces flots rebelles Se changeront, unis et doux, En ...
— French Lyrics • Arthur Graves Canfield

... not mean that he lacks originality. It was a daring stroke—body-snatching in 1914. To produce a work like Spoon River Anthology required years of accumulated experience; a mordant power of analysis; a gift of shrewd speech, a command of hard words that will cut like a diamond; a mental vigour analogous to, though naturally not so powerful, as that displayed by Browning in The Ring and the Book. It is still a debatable proposition ...
— The Advance of English Poetry in the Twentieth Century • William Lyon Phelps

... called "Mary, Mary" on one side of the Atlantic Ocean and "The Charwoman's Daughter" on the other. It was written in 1910, when the author was known as the poet of "Insurrections" and the writer of a few of the mordant studies that belong to a later book, "Here ...
— Mary, Mary • James Stephens

... was an idea that persisted for centuries; facts with all their mordant logic were impotent to kill it. Hardly in Dante's time did men guess that the Roman empire and its civilization ...
— The Crest-Wave of Evolution • Kenneth Morris

Words linked to "Mordant" :   color, sodium dichromate, erosive, corrosive, antimony potassium tartrate, chrome alum, tartar emetic, sodium bichromate, coloring material, vitriolic, caustic

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