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Caustic   /kˈɑstɪk/  /kˈɔstɪk/   Listen
Caustic

noun
1.
Any chemical substance that burns or destroys living tissue.



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"Caustic" Quotes from Famous Books



... the echoed miraculous chord of the child of ten, sitting gravely, alone, among the shrill satins and caustic voices of a feminine throng, was complete. She saw herself, Linda Condon, as objectively as Pleydon's described vision: there was a large bow on her straight black hair, and, from under the bang, her gaze was clear and wondering. How marvelously young she was! The vindictive curiosity of the ...
— Linda Condon • Joseph Hergesheimer

... back the soldiers of William III. This was his shrewd method of getting at us soldiers, and he implied that, if necessary, the women of Limerick could beat back the soldiers of another English king. All we could do was to stand there, stiff as starch, while the stings fell from his caustic tongue. O'Connell was a splendid speaker, and he had a most inviting presence, an attractive personality altogether. Looking at him, you decided, "That's a capital fellow, a merry fellow to be with; why, I should like to ...
— The Romance of a Pro-Consul - Being The Personal Life And Memoirs Of The Right Hon. Sir - George Grey, K.C.B. • James Milne

... appear that the intrigues, of which Cardan gives so many instances, must have been the work of certain individuals, jealous of his fame and perhaps smarting under some caustic speech or downright insult, rather than of the authorities; the Senate of Bologna showed no hostility to him, but on the other hand procured for him the privileges of citizenship. While the negotiations ...
— Jerome Cardan - A Biographical Study • William George Waters

... criticisms of the family circle, particularly of the smaller Jackson sisters, were so breezy and unrestrained that Mrs. Jackson generally felt it necessary to apply the closure. Indeed, Marjory Jackson, aged fourteen, had on three several occasions been fined pudding at lunch for her caustic comments on the batting of her brother Reggie in important fixtures. Cricket was a tradition in the family, and the ladies, unable to their sorrow to play the game themselves, were resolved that it should not be their fault if the standard ...
— Mike • P. G. Wodehouse

... it," to use his own words, it being very unpleasant whatever shape it took. But now the pack began to rouse up and show its rage under the calm, careless, defiant contempt with which it was being treated. Words, epithets, and allusions grew more malicious, caustic, and insulting, and, these producing no effect by the time the top of the slope was reached, bolder tactics were commenced, the boys closing round and starting a kind of horse-play in which one charged another, to give him a thrust so as to drive ...
— The Lost Middy - Being the Secret of the Smugglers' Gap • George Manville Fenn

... an incident in connection with the writing of his Autobiography. On more than one occasion, he declared that the Autobiography was going to be something awful—as caustic, fiendish, and devilish as he could make it. Actually, he was in the habit of jotting on the margin of the page, opposite to some startling characterization or diabolic joke: "Not to be published until ten (or twenty, or thirty) years after my death." One day I ...
— Mark Twain • Archibald Henderson

... to connect it with the moon, and to call it Diana and Luna, names previously given to the satellite. For Artemis, the Greek Diana, the Ephesian craftsmen made silver shrines. The moon became the symbol of silver; and to this day fused nitrate of silver is called lunar caustic. It was natural and easy for superstition to suppose that silver was the moon's own metal; and to imagine that upon the reappearance of the lunar deity or demon, its beams should be propitiated by some argentine possession. We find that silver was exclusively ...
— Moon Lore • Timothy Harley

... pleasant trips through picturesque scenery. It is either in you or it is not in you. You either have the slow, tenacious, humorous, patient, imaginative instincts of the country-born; or you have the smart, quick, clever, witty, fanciful, lively, receptive, caustic turn of mind of those ...
— Suspended Judgments - Essays on Books and Sensations • John Cowper Powys

... audience; eloquent, but with no trace of the empty rhetoric which so often does duty for that quality; full of a high seriousness, but with no suspicion of pedantry; lightened by an occasional epigram or flashes of caustic humour, but with none of the small jocularity in which it is such a temptation to a lecturer to indulge. As one listened to him one felt that comparative anatomy was worthy of the devotion of a life, and that to solve a morphological problem was as fine a thing as to win a battle. ...
— Thomas Henry Huxley - A Character Sketch • Leonard Huxley

... ghaseb-water, and some little pieces of meat, roasted, besides milk. I was accompanied by my stupid mahadee, who is, nevertheless, not a bad market-man. He purchased a large calabash of milk, and a peck of beans, for some small pieces of jaui, or benzoin. I then administered caustic to all the eyes of the village—at least sixty persons—including men, women, and children, with the Sheikh. Bad eyes were the only pressing complaints ...
— Narrative of a Mission to Central Africa Performed in the Years 1850-51, Volume 2 • James Richardson

... them here at once. [Exit ORDERLY.] The very men Who meanly shirk their service to the crown! A breach of duty to be remedied, For disaffection like an ulcer spreads Until the caustic ointment of the law, Sternly applied, eats up ...
— Tecumseh: A Drama • Charles Mair

... right," said one, "have we to prohibit these ladies from traveling." "We have a law," another indignantly replied, "paramount to all others—the law which commands us to take care of the public safety." The debate was finally terminated by the caustic remark of a member who was ashamed of the protracted discussion. "Europe," said he, "will be greatly astonished, no doubt, on hearing that the National Assembly spent four hours in deliberating upon the departure of two ladies who preferred hearing mass at Rome rather than at ...
— Maria Antoinette - Makers of History • John S. C. (John Stevens Cabot) Abbott

... between the eyes? A blow of the ax on his sinciput (if again I may be permitted to use your ingenious metaphor)? Hah, hah! And do you mean to say that when I spoke to you about quarters provided by the State, that—hah, hah! You are very caustic. But I won't revert to that again. By-and-by!—one remark produces another, one thought attracts another—but you were talking just now of the practice or form in vogue with the examining magistrate. But what is this form? You know as ...
— The Most Interesting Stories of All Nations • Julian Hawthorne

... Samoan half-castes, attached themselves to his wife. Seated beside Otway was another passenger, an American skipper named Burr, who was going to Apia to take command of a vessel belonging to the same firm as the Tucopia. He was a silent, good-looking man of about sixty, and possessed of much caustic humour and a remarkable fund of smoking-room stories, which, on rare occasions, he would relate in an inimitable, drawling manner, as if he was tired. The chief mate was a deeply but not obtrusively religious Scotsman; the second officer, Allen, was a young man of thirty, an excellent ...
— By Rock and Pool on an Austral Shore, and Other Stories • Louis Becke

... democracy, with a view to confound the distinction between the sovereign will of one and the sovereign will of the many. Napoleon III. enjoyed proclaiming himself the great champion of universal suffrage, although what his plebiscites really were the caustic pen of Kinglake has told us. The other day the French imperialists celebrated at Chiselhurst the fete of the late emperor; and there Prince Louis had the audacity to say: "Planting myself as an exile near the tomb of the emperor, I represent his teachings, which ...
— Lippincott's Magazine of Popular Literature and Science, Vol. XII. No. 31. October, 1873. • Various

... night a murmur arose among the spectators: "The piece has fallen." Abbe Arnaud, Gluck's devoted defender, arose in his box and replied: "Yes! fallen from heaven." While Mademoiselle Levasseur was singing one of the great airs, a voice was heard to say, "Ah! you tear out my ears;" to which the caustic rejoinder was: "How fortunate, if it is to give ...
— The Great German Composers • George T. Ferris

... respect, sending him abundance of pastry, and occasionally partridges and other game, and young pigs. With the sauce for the game, Mrs. Turner mixed a quantity of cantharides, and poisoned the pork with lunar-caustic. As stated on the trial, Overbury took in this manner poison enough to have poisoned twenty men; but his constitution was strong, and he still lingered. Franklin, the apothecary, confessed that he prepared with Dr. Forman seven ...
— Memoirs of Extraordinary Popular Delusions and the Madness of Crowds • Charles Mackay

... spin, weave, and cook. She could make enough money in Biddeford or Portsmouth to support herself, and Patty, too, until the proper work was found for both. But there would be a truly terrible conflict of wills, and such fierce arraignment of her unfilial conduct, such bitter and caustic argument from her father, such disapproval from the parson and the neighbors, that her very soul shrank from the prospect. If she could go alone, and have no responsibility over Patty's future, that would be a little more possible, but she ...
— The Story Of Waitstill Baxter • By Kate Douglas Wiggin

... self-defense at last developed in Mr. Early that literary style which he had found it impossible to cultivate while he still had nothing to say. He grew a peculiar ability for self-glorification and for slugging the other man. Particularly caustic did his pen become in respect to those, whether painters, musicians, poets, novelists or reformers, who had endeared themselves to the great mass of the public. The Aspirant always called the public ...
— Jewel Weed • Alice Ames Winter

... very unideal pleasures; and his love of Amalie and Therese, hopeless from the beginning, could not, except in especially fortunate moments, avoid erring in the direction either of sentimentality or of bitterness. But Heine was too keenly intellectual to be indulgent of sentimentality, and too caustic to restrain bitterness. Hence the bitter-sweet of many of his pieces, so agreeably stimulating and so suggestive of an ...
— The German Classics of The Nineteenth and Twentieth Centuries, Vol. VI. • Editor-in-Chief: Kuno Francke

... his sail. This work electrified the public. It pierced the crust of refinement and intelligence, and roused the latent laughter of its heart. Even newsboys chuckled with delight over its caustic hits at the powers that were, against which, with the characteristic precocity of Young America, each had his private individual spite; while they found in its peculiar phraseology a mine of fun. Patriots rejoiced that one vigilant thinker dared stand guard over our national honor, ...
— Continental Monthly, Vol. I. February, 1862, No. II. - Devoted To Literature And National Policy • Various

... alteration of the tone in Frederick's correspondence during the few months which followed his accession: the voice of the raw and inexperienced youth is heard no more, and its place is taken—at once and for ever—by the self-contained caustic utterance of an embittered man of the world. In this transformation it was only natural that the wondrous figure of Voltaire should lose some of its glitter—especially since Frederick now began to have the opportunity of inspecting that figure in the flesh with his own sharp eyes. ...
— Books and Characters - French and English • Lytton Strachey

... place, whence arises the caustic condition of his solution, unless it be through the decomposition of the cyanide of potassium which is sometimes added? and if such caustic condition exists, does it not cause a deposition of oxide of silver together with the iodide, thereby embrowning ...
— Notes and Queries, Number 180, April 9, 1853 • Various

... nothing about electricity, and actually refuse to ride on a motorcycle because the throbbing engine scared him, was more than they could understand. They quickly decided that he was a coward and had already lost respect for him, as was evident from the caustic comments made by the group under the maple after he ...
— The Boy Scout Fire Fighters • Irving Crump

... various divisions of the capitalist class that the most caustic and virtuous tirades against Gould came. The boards of trade and chambers of commerce were largely made up of men who, while assuming the most vaniloquent pretensions, were themselves malodorous with fraud. To read the resolutions passed by them, and to observe retrospectively the supreme ...
— Great Fortunes from Railroads • Gustavus Myers

... luncheon for Rat when the Badger and the Mole at length returned, and he had to face them at table with his pitiful and unconvincing story. The Badger's caustic, not to say brutal, remarks may be imagined, and therefore passed over; but it was painful to the Rat that even the Mole, though he took his friend's side as far as possible, could not help saying, "You've been a bit of a duffer this time, Ratty! Toad, ...
— The Wind in the Willows • Kenneth Grahame

... merely twenty-six hours a day dictating my autobiography, which, as John Phoenix said in regard to his autograph, may be relied upon as authentic, as it is written exclusively by me. But it is not to be published in full until I am thoroughly dead. I have made it as caustic, fiendish, and devilish as possible. It will fill many volumes, and I shall continue writing it until the time comes for me to join the angels. It is going to be a terrible autobiography. It will make the hair of some folks curl. But it cannot be published until I am dead, and the ...
— Innocents abroad • Mark Twain

... aware," resumed Mrs. Denyer, with a smile that made caustic comment on this apology, "that, when we sit at table, your eyes are directed to Miss Doran with a frequency that no one can ...
— The Emancipated • George Gissing

... heated to a temperature of about 600 deg. C. or faint redness, then the air pumps, C C, are started. Air is drawn by them through the purifier, D, where it is freed from carbon dioxide and moisture by the layers of quicklime and caustic soda with which the purifier is charged. The air is then forced along the pipe, E, into the small air vessel, F, which acts as a sort of cushion to prevent the baryta in the retorts being disturbed by the pulsation of the pumps. ...
— Scientific American Supplement, No. 623, December 10, 1887 • Various

... laugh, mockingly; he was skeptical, caustic even, and he took issue with the parson. Between them they managed to prevent her falling asleep; kept her in a semidoze which was very near ...
— The Trail to Yesterday • Charles Alden Seltzer

... which elastic webbing is made may be cut from these sheets, though sometimes the sheet is wound on an iron drum, vulcanized by being put into hot water, lightly varnished with shellac to stiffen it, then wound on a wooden cylinder, and cut into square threads. Boiling these in caustic soda removes the shellac. To make round threads, softened rubber is forced through a die. Rubber bands are made by cementing a sheet of rubber into a tube and then cutting them off at whatever width may be desired. Toy balloons are made of such rubber. Two pieces are stamped out and joined by ...
— Makers of Many Things • Eva March Tappan

... busy with the petty duties of her days, and left him lorn. Madame de Sevenie had taken a flattering fancy to him, and frequently came to gossip beside his bed or chair. He found her tremendously entertaining, endowed as she was with an excellent and well-stored memory, a gift of caustic characterization and a pretty taste in the scandal of her bygone day and generation, as well as with a mind still active and better informed on the affairs of to-day than that of many a Parisienne of the haute ...
— Alias The Lone Wolf • Louis Joseph Vance

... in a neighbouring village, the news was brought them that a peasant had died of typhus. Three days later Bazaroff came into his father's room and asked him if he had any caustic to burn a cut ...
— The World's Greatest Books, Vol VIII • Arthur Mee and J.A. Hammerton, Eds.

... are not unfrequently present. They are left insoluble on dissolving the sample in boiling water. The separation is more perfect if the hot solution be exactly neutralised by caustic soda. ...
— Nitro-Explosives: A Practical Treatise • P. Gerald Sanford

... a strong, enduring frame, and a keen, vehement, caustic spirit. He had the gift of tongues, and was as familiar with the Abenaki and several other Indian languages as he was with Latin.[235] Of the genuineness of his zeal there is no doubt, nor of his earnest and lively ...
— A Half Century of Conflict - Volume I - France and England in North America • Francis Parkman

... of Angelo, I would chisel and bequeath to the world a noble statue,—typical of that rare, fearless friendship, which, walking through the lazaretto of diseased and morbid natures, bears not honied draughts alone, but scalpel, caustic, ...
— Vashti - or, Until Death Us Do Part • Augusta J. Evans Wilson

... aviation, communications, computer-aided design and manufactures, medical electronics, fiber optics), wood and paper products, potash and phosphates, food, beverages, and tobacco, caustic soda, cement, construction, metals products, chemical products, plastics, ...
— The 2005 CIA World Factbook • United States. Central Intelligence Agency

... an illustration of the days of chivalry, was written in a spirit of caustic contempt for the fair sex, which suggests the bitterness of ...
— Records of a Girlhood • Frances Anne Kemble

... "Caustic creature! You never have a kind word for me; but in spite of you, and all other envious detractors, I know I am beautiful; I feel it, I see it—for there is a great looking-glass in the dressing-room, where I can view my shape from head to foot. Will you go with me now, and let us ...
— Villette • Charlotte Bronte

... expression. The marble is too richly veined for ideal sculpture, but it takes the print of life. The wit, exuberant as it is, does not coruscate indiscriminately upon all lips; and it has many shades and varieties—caustic, ironical, imaginative, playful, passionate—which take their temper from ...
— Love's Comedy • Henrik Ibsen

... London preaching new schemes of decoration and another Renaissance of art. Had he only been a painter he would never have exercised an extraordinary influence; but he was a singularly interesting appearance as well and an admirable talker gifted with picturesque phrases and a most caustic wit. ...
— Oscar Wilde, Volume 1 (of 2) - His Life and Confessions • Frank Harris

... of the Bachelors' Club remained motionless, his mouth still open, struggling to restrain those caustic and profane remarks which, in that presence, he dare not utter. He instinctively flung one hand back to his hip, only to remember that all guns had been left at the door. McNeil eyed him calmly, as he might eye a chained bear, his lips parted in ...
— Bob Hampton of Placer • Randall Parrish

... employed for the manufacture of soft soap. As a chemical reagent its action is almost precisely like that of caustic soda, though it is usually considered a stronger base, as K is a more electro-positive ...
— An Introduction to Chemical Science • R.P. Williams

... exclaimed Johnson, in one of his caustic moods, "there go two and forty sixpences, you know, to one guinea." This is one of the cuts at poor Goldsmith in which Johnson went contrary to head and heart in his love for saying what is called a "good ...
— Oliver Goldsmith • Washington Irving

... and then the Roman, old, and decrepit in a wheeled chair, would be brought to him, to him, John C. Bedelle, whom as a boy he had held up to the ridicule of the class! What a revenge that would be, the proud and haughty Roman, the greatest flunker of them all, the Roman of the caustic tongue and the all-seeing eye, actually clinging to his hand, stammering out his thanks . . . the Roman whose mocking voice still echoed in his memory, "Don't dream, John, ...
— Skippy Bedelle - His Sentimental Progress From the Urchin to the Complete - Man of the World • Owen Johnson

... when physical courage sits so high, the reader—if he is swept off in the general opinion—will expect under such a title something caustic. He will think that I am about to loose against all cowards a plague of frogs and locusts as if old Egypt had come again. But cowardice is its own punishment. It needs no frog to nip it. Even the sharp-toothed locust—for in the days that bordered so close upon ...
— There's Pippins And Cheese To Come • Charles S. Brooks

... common with young people than with adults, are very unsightly, and are sometimes very difficult to get rid of. The best plan is to buy a stick of lunar caustic, which is sold in a holder and case at the druggist's for the purpose, dip it in water, and touch the wart every morning and evening, care being taken to cut away the withered skin before repeating the operation. ...
— Our Deportment - Or the Manners, Conduct and Dress of the Most Refined Society • John H. Young

... mountains rising above it, on which sheep and goats were feeding—the fields fenced round by a shrub called el lechero, or milk-tree, which derives its name from a white liquid oozing out of it when a branch is broken off. This liquid, however, is sharp and caustic. The sticks, about six feet in height, throw out young shoots like the osier, and when pruned become very thick, and form an excellent fence. Within the enclosure were growing patches of wheat, potatoes, and Indian corn, as also the ...
— In New Granada - Heroes and Patriots • W.H.G. Kingston

... malice, the writer pointed out how inevitable it was that the critics should have taken Mr. Price, when Divorce was first produced, for the new dramatic genius they were waiting for. 'There comes a moment,' said this caustic writer, 'in the affairs of men when the new is not only eagerly accepted, but when it is confounded with the original. Wearied by the old stereotyped form of drama, the critics had been astonished by a novelty of subject, more apparent than real, and by certain surface qualities ...
— Vain Fortune • George Moore

... it might appear sin, working death in the sinner by that which is good,—that sin by the commandment might become, might be seen to be, exceeding sinful. The law is like a chemical test. It eats into sin enough to show what sin is, and there stops. The lunar caustic bites into the dead flesh of the mortified limb; but there is no healing virtue in the lunar caustic. The moral law makes no inward alterations in a sinner. In its own distinctive and proper action upon the heart and will ...
— Sermons to the Natural Man • William G.T. Shedd

... Extractor" sometimes gives great relief; you may also apply immediately, with benefit, a tea-spoonful of air-slaked lime and a table-spoonful of lard; sift the lime and rub them well together. For a burn by vitriol or any caustic substance, apply whites of eggs mixed with powdered chalk, putting it on with a feather. Linen rags dipped in cold water and changed every few minutes, I have known applied day and night to give relief to a bad burn ...
— Domestic Cookery, Useful Receipts, and Hints to Young Housekeepers • Elizabeth E. Lea

... trips to this pornographic Mecca for the reason that they could there be accommodated with the simultaneous ministrations of two or even three soiled doves of the stripe of her of whom Martial (ix, 69) makes caustic mention: ...
— The Satyricon, Complete • Petronius Arbiter

... reading as much as upon the company they keep. Besides the intrinsic pleasure to be derived from solid knowledge, a woman ought to consider it as her best resource against poverty.' This is a somewhat caustic aphorism: 'A romantic woman is a troublesome friend, as she expects you to be as imprudent as herself, and is mortified at what she calls coldness and insensibility.' And this is admirable: 'The art of life is not to estrange oneself from society, and yet not to pay too ...
— Reviews • Oscar Wilde

... of lunar caustic, and half an ounce of gum arabic, in a gill of rain water. Dip whatever is to be marked in strong pearl-ash water. When perfectly dry, iron it very smooth; the pearl-ash water turns it a dark color, but washing will efface it. After marking the linen, put it near ...
— The American Housewife • Anonymous

... come up from the city, slightly more fagged and sardonic than usual, and as he stretched himself out in the big porch-chair he was even more caustic than was his wont about the bareness and emotional sterility of the lives of ...
— Americans All - Stories of American Life of To-Day • Various

... nervous language the trials and difficulties he had to contend with; and all these his imagination embodied for him in one grim and terrible form, which he christened "Bread Tax." With this demon he grappled in desperate energy, and assailed it vigorously with his caustic rhyme This training, these mortifications, these misfortunes, and the demon "Bread Tax" above all, made Elliott successively despised, hated, feared, and admired, as public opinion ...
— Harper's New Monthly Magazine, Volume 1, No. 3, August, 1850. • Various

... occasionally. Bettie is a friend of Mrs. Mundy. Owing to kinlessness and inability to care for herself, owing, also, to there being nowhere else to which she could go, she has been forced to enter the Home. Her caustic comments on its management are of a clear-cut variety. Bettie was born for a satirist and became an epileptic. The result at times is speech that is not guarded, a calling of things by names that are ...
— People Like That • Kate Langley Bosher

... purposes are readily forthcoming, L50,000 being already in hand, while promises of a whole year's income seem thick as autumnal leaves in Vallombrosa. No means is left untried, no stone is left unturned to render abortive what the dry and caustic Northerners call the Home Ruin Bill, or the Bill for ...
— Ireland as It Is - And as It Would be Under Home Rule • Robert John Buckley (AKA R.J.B.)

... with the idea that anything more elaborate was the sign manifest of too recent fortune, that she had indulged in caustic criticism of the modern palaces of certain New York friends. But although the immediate impression of the Montgomery house was of soft luxurious richness, and it was indubitably the home of wealthy ...
— Senator North • Gertrude Atherton

... only looked pained. Once only have I seen the Californiac silenced. A dinner party which included a globe-trotter, were listening to a victim of an advanced stage of Californoia. He had just disposed of the East, South and Middle West with a few caustic phrases and had started on his favorite subject. "You are certainly a wonderful people," the globe-trotter said, when he had finished. "Every large city in Europe has a colony of Californians, all rooting for California as hard as they can, and all living as far away ...
— The Californiacs • Inez Haynes Irwin

... Italy. On the Scoglio di Venere, near Naples, he built the Villa de Angelis, and there henceforth passed all except the hottest months of the year. Shortly after the completion of the villa Jocelyn left him suddenly, and became a Carthusian monk. A caustic note in his diary hinted that even this foul parasite was shocked into the austerest form of religion by something he had seen going forward. At Naples Temple's dark life became still darker. He dallied, it is true, with Neo-Platonism, and boasts that he, like Plotinus, had twice passed the circle ...
— The Lost Stradivarius • John Meade Falkner

... other skull. If there be a nest of ants near the camp, place the skull in their immediate vicinity. Some recommend putting in water till the particles of flesh rot, or till the skull is cleared by the fishes. A strong solution of caustic water may be used if you wish to get the bones cleaned very quickly. Some put the skulls in quicklime, but it has a tendency to make the bones splinter, and it is difficult to keep the teeth from getting ...
— Sport and Work on the Nepaul Frontier - Twelve Years Sporting Reminiscences of an Indigo Planter • James Inglis

... After all, it must be the content of the performances which is decisive of the incomparable triumph. We have no right to conclude from this that only the merits and excellences are the true causes of their success. A caustic critic would probably suggest that just the opposite traits are responsible. He would say that the average American is a mixture of business, ragtime, and sentimentality. He satisfies his business instinct by getting so much for his nickel, he enjoys his ragtime in the ...
— The Photoplay - A Psychological Study • Hugo Muensterberg

... Merry, Esq. who, at this time, wrote in the newspapers under this signature, and thereby became the object of the caustic satire of the author of the ...
— Letters of Horace Walpole, V4 • Horace Walpole

... novelists much better. Mr. Henry James writes fiction as if it were a painful duty, and wastes upon mean motives and imperceptible "points of view" his neat literary style, his felicitous phrases, his swift and caustic satire. Mr. Hall Caine, it is true, aims at the grandiose, but then he writes at the top of his voice. He is so loud that one cannot bear what he says. Mr. James Payn is an adept in the art of concealing what is not worth finding. He ...
— Intentions • Oscar Wilde

... remembered the caustic lash of his father's ironies while he was lifting Mother of Pearl over the posts and rails, and sweeping on, with the halloo ringing down the wintry wind as the grasslands flew beneath him? Was it likely that ...
— Under Two Flags • Ouida [Louise de la Ramee]

... gloomy thoughts, he gave vent to an interjection both caustic and obscene, a memory of his soldiering days; in the presence of the gardener's widow there was no need to control himself, and the old woman was accustomed to this ...
— The Shadow of the Cathedral • Vicente Blasco Ibanez

... This one was for nearly two hundred; and at the end of the long list of items, the biggest of which was that bathroom without water that had sent Annalise out on strike, was the information that a remittance would oblige. A remittance! Poor Fritzing. He crushed the paper in his hand and made caustic mental comments on the indecency of these people, clamouring for their money almost before the last workman was out of the place, certainly before the smell of paint was out of it, and clamouring, too, in the face of the Shuttleworth countenance and support. He had not ...
— The Princess Priscilla's Fortnight • Elizabeth von Arnim

... aquiline,—the upper lip short and chiselled,—the eyes gray, and the forehead, which is by far the finest feature in the countenance, is peculiarly high, broad, and massive. The mouth has but little beauty; it is severe, caustic, and rather displeasing, from the extreme compression of the lips. The great and prevalent expression of the face is energy. The eye, the brow, the turn of the head, the erect, penetrating aspect,—are ...
— Devereux, Complete • Edward Bulwer-Lytton

... and based on false premises and misstatements of fact and of law, which seem to show political motives and not infrequently personal animosity toward Mr. Wilson. The exaggerated statements and unfair arguments of some of the Senators, larded, as they often were, with caustic sarcasm and vindictive personalities, did much to prevent an honest and useful discussion of the merits and ...
— The Peace Negotiations • Robert Lansing

... of her intended departure one morning brought him to the hazard. He was beginning to feel less secure of her, and less indifferent to the gibes of the town jokers, who found in his enslavement much material for caustic remark. They called him the ...
— They of the High Trails • Hamlin Garland

... cures. The unguent, however, to the horror of the doctors, burned the skull till the bone was as black as the colour of ink; and Olivarez declares he believes it to have been a preparation of pure caustic. On the morning of the 9th of May, the Moor and his unguents were sent away, "and went to Madrid, to send to heaven Hernando de Vega, while the prince went back to our method ...
— Health and Education • Charles Kingsley

... step to be taken in the 'laicisation' of the schools has been already revealed in the famous 'Article 7' of M. Ferry. M. Ferry is the true, though more or less occult, head of the present Administration in France. 'M. Ferry,' said a caustic French Radical to me in Paris, 'ought to be the mask of M. Carnot. Nature gave him a Carnival nose for that purpose. Everything is topsy-turvy now in France, and so M. Carnot is the mask of M. Ferry. But the nose will come ...
— France and the Republic - A Record of Things Seen and Learned in the French Provinces - During the 'Centennial' Year 1889 • William Henry Hurlbert

... file of womanhood. I noted this as I stole an occasional glance at her or turned to answer some remark addressed to me; and I noted, too, that her speech, despite a general undertone of depression, was yet not without a certain caustic, ironical humour. She was certainly a rather enigmatical young person, but very ...
— The Vanishing Man • R. Austin Freeman

... between them. Barret, as Hemmingwell's chief assistant and supervisor of the project, was naturally superior in rank to Troy, and made the most of it. A placid, easy-going man, Troy took Barret's gibes and caustic comments in silence, doing his work and getting it finished on time. But occasionally he had difficulty in controlling ...
— Sabotage in Space • Carey Rockwell

... was vain: it wrapped me round like a cloak. It was a universal caustic, that would not endure to be touched; much less torn away. I groaned. I gnashed my teeth. I griped my hands. I struck myself violent blows. I ran with fury, in circles, in zigzag, with sudden turns and frantic bounds; ...
— The Adventures of Hugh Trevor • Thomas Holcroft

... favourable to the development of his peculiar and complicated faculties. His passion for antiquarian lore, and his poetical enthusiasm, found a nursing mother in a city so rich in ancient architecture, heraldic monuments, and historical interest; his caustic humour was amply fed from the full tide of human life, with all its follies, in that populous mart; and his exquisite sensibility to the beautiful and magnificent in nature, was abundantly ministered ...
— Blackwood's Edinburgh Magazine, No. CCCXXXII. - June, 1843.,Vol. LIII. • Various

... in books and on the stage,—and he was indulgently inclined to suspect that there was something "in it" for whoever appeared to be essaying a benevolent enterprise. Respectable, liberal-handed, habitually amused, slightly caustic, he looked out for the good of himself and those related to him and considered that he was justified in closing his corporate regards at that point. He had no cant and no hypocrisy, no pose and no fads. A sane, aggressive, self-centered, rational materialist of the American ...
— The Precipice • Elia Wilkinson Peattie

... whose light had hitherto been hidden under a bushel, prove at last that he could do something by proving that he could eat. Now did Pedgift Junior shine brighter than ever he had shone yet in gems of caustic humor and exquisite fertilities of resource. Now did the squire, and the squire's charming guest, prove the triple connection between Champagne that sparkles, Love that grows bolder, and Eyes whose vocabulary is without the word No. Now did cheerful old times come back to the major's memory, ...
— Armadale • Wilkie Collins

... Montcornet has an imposing effect when you first meet him; he seems a Titan, but he contains a dwarf, like the pasteboard giant who saluted Queen Elizabeth at the gates of Kenilworth. Choleric though kind, and full of imperial hauteur, he has the caustic tongue of a soldier, and is quick at repartee, but quicker still with a blow. He may have been superb on a battle-field; in a household he is simply intolerable. He knows no love but barrack love,—the love which those clever myth-makers, the ancients, placed under the patronage of Eros, son ...
— Sons of the Soil • Honore de Balzac

... Dannreuther, in his essay in the Sixth Volume of the Oxford History of Music, speaks of the peculiar process of "rabbeting" which serves Berlioz in the place of counterpoint, and the criticism, though caustic, holds much truth.] ...
— Music: An Art and a Language • Walter Raymond Spalding

... even with me it would be necessary for them to make certain incriminating admissions, and to call certain evidence that would entail caustic remarks from a learned judge, and would not improbably lead to a charge of murder being preferred against them. No, Mr. Fairfax, I know my own business, and, what is better, I know theirs. If they like to take fifty thousand pounds, and will retire into ...
— My Strangest Case • Guy Boothby

... copper name-shield of the Claridge, without collecting about him a fawning, favor-hunting throng so dense, so tenacious, and troublesome to traffic that it would have brought the officer from his place beside the surface-car tracks, caustic-tongued, to investigate and disperse it. Nor would that officer have ordered them to move on, six months before, once he had discovered what monarch it was who held informal court there. He would have paused for a bluff joke or two himself, a knowing word of importance, ...
— Winner Take All • Larry Evans

... Caustic Potash.—The solution of blood obtained in water is boiled, when a coagulum is formed soluble in hot caustic potash, the solution formed being greenish by transmitted and red by ...
— Aids to Forensic Medicine and Toxicology • W. G. Aitchison Robertson

... a tone of good-humored tolerance—"He has the most caustic wit of any man in Al-Kyris! He is a positive marvel of perverseness and ill-humor, well worth the four hundred golden pieces I pay him yearly for his task of being my scribe and critic. Like all of us he must live, eat and wear decent clothing,—and that his only literary skill lies ...
— Ardath - The Story of a Dead Self • Marie Corelli

... was an act of almost inconceivable folly to select as the editor a certain Libri-Bagnano, a man of Italian extraction, who, as it was soon discovered by his opponents, had twice suffered heavy sentences in France as a forger. He was a brilliant and caustic writer, well able to carry the polemical war into his adversaries' camp. But his antecedents were against him, and he aroused a hatred second only to the aversion ...
— History of Holland • George Edmundson

... Aylmer has done good work," he said, when he had finished reading her pungent and caustic words; "and yet—" A thoughtful expression crossed his face, he was silent for a moment, then he looked up at the young man, who ...
— The Time of Roses • L. T. Meade

... young fellow had descended upon it. In his later books, such as Coningsby, Sybil, and Tancred, he wished to propound a new party programme. Lothair was a picture of British society, partly indulgent and sympathetic, partly caustic or contemptuous, but presented all through with a vein of persiflage, mockery, and extravaganza. All this was amusing and original; but every one of these things is fatal to sustained and serious ...
— Studies in Early Victorian Literature • Frederic Harrison

... familiar word. There is a great deal of false sentiment in the world, as there is of bad logic and erroneous doctrine; but—it is very much less disagreeable to hear a young poet overdo his emotions, or even deceive himself about them, than to hear a caustic-epithet flinger repeating such words as "sentimentality" and "entusymusy,"—one of the least admirable of Lord Byron's bequests to our language,—for the purpose of ridiculing him into silence. An overdressed woman is not so pleasing as she might be, but at any rate she is better than the ...
— The Autocrat of the Breakfast-Table • Oliver Wendell Holmes, Sr. (The Physician and Poet not the Jurist)

... poets, as does also Wodrow in his Catalogues of Scots writers. Mackenzie (Lives of the Scots writers) begins, "The Barklies, from whom this gentleman is descended, are of a very ancient standing in Scotland." Ritson (Bib. Poetica), after a caustic review of the controversy, observes "both his name of baptism and the orthography of his surname seem to prove that he was of Scottish extraction." Bliss (Additions to Wood) is of opinion that he "undoubtedly was not a native of England," and Dr Irving (Hist. ...
— The Ship of Fools, Volume 1 • Sebastian Brandt

... himself dragged away in so abrupt a manner by this Englishman, had sought in his subtle mind for some means of escaping from his fetters; but no one having rendered him any assistance in this respect, he was absolutely obliged, therefore, to submit to the burden of his own evil thoughts and caustic spirit. ...
— Ten Years Later • Alexandre Dumas, Pere

... enemy armoured train moved slowly forward from Shmakovka, followed by four others, which directed a flank fire at my position. The shells all plunked into the marsh about four hundred yards short, affording much amusement and causing many caustic Cockney comments. Next came a troop train which gave us great hopes of a real attack developing on our front, but our Naval 12-pounders on the Suffolk's armoured train began to do good practice, and a shot registered on the front enemy engine caused volumes of steam ...
— With the "Die-Hards" in Siberia • John Ward

... silk, and crowded with everything foolish in the way of ebony and ormolu, Venetian glass and Sevres china, and with nothing sensible in it except three or four delicious easy-chairs of the pouff species, immortalised by Sardou. Alas for that age of pouff which he satirised with such a caustic pen! To what dismal end has it come! End of powder and petroleum, and ...
— The Lovels of Arden • M. E. Braddon

... government. They contained anything but complimentary references to his chief, William H. Seward, Secretary of State, and he was discharged. Meanwhile he had antagonized his benefactor, Mr. Sumner, by opposing, in a caustic manner, his views in reference to the conduct of the Civil War, and by other similar indiscretions was making new ...
— As I Remember - Recollections of American Society during the Nineteenth Century • Marian Gouverneur

... admitted into our society. He was about thirty- five years of age, and therefore we looked upon him as an old fellow. His experience gave him great advantage over us, and his habitual taciturnity, stern disposition, and caustic tongue produced a deep impression upon our young minds. Some mystery surrounded his existence; he had the appearance of a Russian, although his name was a foreign one. He had formerly served in the Hussars, and with distinction. Nobody knew the cause that ...
— Stories by Foreign Authors: Russian • Various

... corrections in proof,—the printer was a little wrong-headed Scotchman,—had insisted at the last moment in heading his Tyrtean "Proem," a fine aerial trumpet-blast somewhat Shelleyan in style, with the word that was evidently intended, namely, "Poem." However, he was somewhat consoled by reading his caustic column of notes headed "The World outside Coalchester," the very heading of which was a revelation. Then, too, he very much enjoyed his article on "Bad Lighting in Coalchester," with its evident allegoric insinuation that Coalchester needed lighting in ...
— The Romance of Zion Chapel [3d ed.] • Richard Le Gallienne

... pull out the pilus or hair), any substance, preparation or process which will remove superfluous hair. For this purpose caustic alkalis, alkaline earths and also orpiment (trisulphide of arsenic) are used, the last being somewhat dangerous. No application is permanent in its effect, as the hair always grows again. The only permanent method, which is, however, painful, ...
— Encyclopaedia Britannica, 11th Edition, Volume 8, Slice 2 - "Demijohn" to "Destructor" • Various

... temperature. In order to renew constantly the air within the flask, the experimenter sucked with his mouth several times a day the open end of the apparatus, filled with the solution of potash, by which process the air entered his mouth from the flask through the caustic liquid, and the atmospheric air from without entered the flask through the sulphuric acid. The air was of course not at all altered in its composition by passing through the sulphuric acid in the flask; but all the portions of living matter, or of matter capable of becoming animated, ...
— A Theory of Creation: A Review of 'Vestiges of the Natural History of Creation' • Francis Bowen

... Trevarthen outworn with nursing, had packed her off to rest and taken her place by the invalid's bedside. In this service she had been faithful ever since; and it was no light one, for affliction did not chasten Mrs. Butson's caustic tongue. ...
— Shining Ferry • Sir Arthur Thomas Quiller-Couch

... to distinguish between the qualities of soaps used on the sensitive skins of infants and invalids. If you ever wash an infant in strongly caustic soap, you may look for a state of discomfort in the child which will make it restless and miserable without your being able to tell how it is so. You may ascribe to unhappy "temper" what is due to the bad soap which you have put on the skin. So with ...
— Papers on Health • John Kirk

... supplies are mild carbon steel for the barrels, bayonets, bolt, and locks; well-seasoned ash or maple, straight-grained, for the stocks; brass, iron, powder, antimony, benzol or phenol, sulphuric acid, nitric acid, and caustic soda, &c. Of these various materials the most difficult to secure are those used in the ...
— New York Times Current History; The European War, Vol 2, No. 5, August, 1915 • Various

... write would mean to her. Her religion had gone, that dear companion of many years; she had practised faithfully until six months ago, when she had asked her teacher to tell her father that she could never become even a third-rate musician; and Don Roberto had, after a caustic hour, concluded that he would "throw no more good money after bad;" she had had long and meaning conferences with her mirror, conjuring up phantasms of the beautiful dead women of her race, and decided sadly that the worship of man ...
— The Californians • Gertrude Franklin Horn Atherton

... How incomparably beautiful are our own meadows in June! But the glitter of the buttercup, which is as nothing to the glitter of a gold dollar in the eyes of a practical farmer, fills him with wrath when this immigrant takes possession of his pastures. Cattle will not eat the acrid, caustic plant—a sufficient reason for most members of the Ranunculaceae to stoop to the low trick of secreting poisonous or bitter juices. Self-preservation leads a cousin, the garden monk's hood, even to murderous practices. Since children will put everything within reach into ...
— Wild Flowers Worth Knowing • Neltje Blanchan et al

... may apply the rules of criticism which he employs against the visions of the male and female saints of whom he speaks in his work, and that they may say, for instance, that Jeremiah yielded to his melancholy humor, and Ezekiel to his caustic disposition, to predict sad and disagreeable things ...
— The Phantom World - or, The philosophy of spirits, apparitions, &c, &c. • Augustin Calmet

... attention, and the second carriage arrived. By degrees the grove filled with people—the Elliots, the Thornburys, Mr. Venning and Susan, Miss Allan, Evelyn Murgatroyd, and Mr. Perrott. Mr. Hirst acted the part of hoarse energetic sheep-dog. By means of a few words of caustic Latin he had the animals marshalled, and by inclining a sharp shoulder he lifted the ladies. "What Hewet fails to understand," he remarked, "is that we must break the back of the ascent before midday." He was assisting ...
— The Voyage Out • Virginia Woolf

... slain the four helpless islanders with his own hands, Hollingsworth Chase had stayed his rage with the single, caustic adjuration: ...
— The Man From Brodney's • George Barr McCutcheon

... boy had plenty on the tip of his tongue. A small and indignant knot of townspeople, headed by a stout and severe middle-aged woman, with two big boys, her sons, followed the keeper, endeavouring by caustic remarks and withering glances to stop the flood of chaff, and restore the legitimate authority and the reign of keeper and ...
— Tom Brown at Oxford • Thomas Hughes

... States can offer any parallel. These jokes he lets fall with an air of profound unconsciousness—we may almost say melancholy— which is irresistibly droll, aided as it is by the effect of a figure singularly gaunt and lean and a face to match. And he has found an audience by whom his caustic humor is thoroughly appreciated. Not one of the odd pleasantries slipped out with such imperturbable gravity misses its mark, and scarcely a minute elapses at the end of which the sedate Artemus is not forced to pause till the roar of mirth has subsided. There is certainly this ...
— The Complete Works of Artemus Ward, Part 6 • Charles Farrar Browne

... at Covent Garden Theatre as Sir Francis Gripe, in the Busy Body, and Jemmy Jumps in the Farmer; his success in which parts after the impressions made by Parsons and Edwin was little short of a miracle. His popularity now became settled. He was the original representative of Old Rapid, Caustic, Brummagem, Lazarillo, (Two Strings to your Bow,) Crack, Nipperkin, Sir Abel Handy, Sir Robert Bramble, Old Dornton, &c. In 1797 and 1798, he played at the Haymarket, but his summer vacations were ...
— The Mirror of Literature, Amusement, and Instruction - Vol. 19. No. 534 - 18 Feb 1832 • Various

... after a studio lunch which contained too much starch and was deficient in nitrogen, Miss Ingate, putting on her hat and jacket, said with a caustic gesture: ...
— The Lion's Share • E. Arnold Bennett

... anaesthetic qualities. Some useful dyes are also obtained from it. It is obtained in quantities from coal-tar, that portion of the distillate known as the light oils being its immediate source. The tar oil is mixed with a solution of caustic soda, and the mixture is violently agitated. This results in the caustic soda dissolving out the carbolic acid, whilst the undissolved oils collect upon the surface, allowing the alkaline solution to be drawn from beneath. The soda in the solution ...
— The Story of a Piece of Coal - What It Is, Whence It Comes, and Whither It Goes • Edward A. Martin

... burned lime have asserted that it was folly to expect any appreciable result from the use of unburned limestone. The manufacturer of ground limestone has pointed out the possibility of injuring a soil by the use of caustic lime, and oftentimes has so emphasized his point that farmers have become unwilling to apply fresh or water-slaked lime to their land. Manufacturers of hydrated lime in some instances have made a confused situation worse by ...
— Right Use of Lime in Soil Improvement • Alva Agee

... still adored by the children and grandchildren of slaves. Charles Sumner, like Edward Everett, seems sinking into popular oblivion, in spite of the statues and portraits and massive volumes of erudite and caustic and high-minded orations. He may be seen at his best in such books as Longfellow's "Journal and Correspondence" and the "Life and Letters" of George Ticknor. There one has a pleasant picture of a booklover, traveler, and friend. But in his public speech he was arrogant, unsympathetic, domineering. ...
— The American Spirit in Literature, - A Chronicle of Great Interpreters, Volume 34 in The - Chronicles Of America Series • Bliss Perry



Words linked to "Caustic" :   caustic remark, chemical compound, compound, lye, destructive, unpleasant, silver nitrate



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