Word definition: mordant

Defiintion of mordant:

[n] a substance used to treat leather or other materials before dyeing; aids in dyeing process
[adj] harshly ironic or sinister; "black humor"; "a grim joke"; "grim laughter"; "fun ranging from slapstick clowning ... to savage mordant wit"

Synonyms of mordant:

black, grim, sarcastic

Antonyms of mordant:

See Also:

antimony potassium tartrate, chrome alum, color, coloring material, colour, colouring material, sodium bichromate, sodium dichromate, tartar emetic

Webster Dictionary (1913) for mordant:

\Mor"dant\, a. [F., p. pr. of mordere to bite; L.
mordere. See {Morsel}.]
1. Biting; caustic; sarcastic; keen; severe.

2. (Dyeing & Calico Printing) Serving to fix colors.

\Mor"dant\, n. [F., originally, biting.] 1. Any corroding substance used in etching. 2. (Dyeing & Calico Printing) Any substance, as alum or copperas, which, having a twofold attraction for organic fibers and coloring matter, serves as a bond of union, and thus gives fixity to, or bites in, the dyes. 3. (Gilding) Any sticky matter by which the gold leaf is made to adhere.
\Mor"dant\, v. t. [imp. & p. p. {Mordanted}; p. pr. & vb. n. {Mordanting}.] To subject to the action of, or imbue with, a mordant; as, to mordant goods for dyeing.