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from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • adj. Medicine Tending to draw together or constrict tissues; styptic.
  • adj. Sharp and penetrating; pungent or severe: astringent remarks.
  • n. A substance or preparation, such as alum, that draws together or constricts body tissues and is effective in stopping the flow of blood or other secretions.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. A substance which draws tissue together, thus restricting the flow of blood.
  • adj. Sharp, caustic, severe.
  • adj. Having the effect of drawing tissue together; styptic.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • adj. Drawing together the tissues; binding; contracting; -- opposed to laxative
  • adj. Stern; austere.
  • n. A medicine or other substance that produces contraction in the soft organic textures, and checks discharges of blood, mucus, etc.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • Binding; contracting; constrictive; styptic.
  • n. A substance which contracts the tissues and canals of the body, condensing the soft solids, and thereby checking or diminishing excessive discharges, as of blood.
  • n. Formerly also adstringent.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • adj. sour or bitter in taste
  • n. a drug that causes contraction of body tissues and canals
  • adj. tending to draw together or constrict soft organic tissue


Latin astringēns, astringent-, present participle of astringere, to bind fast : ad-, ad- + stringere, to bind; see streig- in Indo-European roots.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)



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