Let's Compare Acerbic and Caustic

Acerbic

Caustic humour is a type of humour which relies on witty insults. As is implied by the name (which literally means humour which is designed to burn or to corrode), it involves the clever use of language to convey biting, insulting, or sometimes even cruel remarks.

acerbic adj 1: sour or bitter in taste [syn: {acerb}, {astringent}, {sharp}] 2: harsh or corrosive in tone; "an acerbic tone piercing otherwise flowery prose"; "a barrage of acid comments"; "her acrid remarks make her many enemies"; "bitter words"; "blistering criticism"; "caustic jokes about political assassination, talk-show hosts and medical ethics"; "a sulfurous denunciation" [syn: {acerb}, {acid}, {acrid}, {bitter}, {blistering}, {caustic}, {sulfurous}, {sulphurous}, {venomous}, {virulent}, {vitriolic}]

Acerbic \A*cerb"ic\, a. Sour or severe. [1913 Webster]

Caustic

Caustic commonly refers to:

caustic adj 1: harsh or corrosive in tone; "an acerbic tone piercing otherwise flowery prose"; "a barrage of acid comments"; "her acrid remarks make her many enemies"; "bitter words"; "blistering criticism"; "caustic jokes about political assassination, talk-show hosts and medical ethics"; "a sulfurous denunciation" [syn: {acerb}, {acerbic}, {acid}, {acrid}, {bitter}, {blistering}, {sulfurous}, {sulphurous}, {venomous}, {virulent}, {vitriolic}] 2: of a substance, especially a strong acid; capable of destroying or eating away by chemical action [syn: {corrosive}, {erosive}, {vitriolic}] n : any chemical substance that burns or destroys living tissue

Caustic \Caus"tic\, Caustical \Caus"tic*al\, a. [L. caustucs, Ge. ?, fr. ? to burn. Cf. {Calm}, {Ink}.] 1. Capable of destroying the texture of anything or eating away its substance by chemical action; burning; corrosive; searing. [1913 Webster] 2. Severe; satirical; sharp; as, a caustic remark. [1913 Webster] {Caustic curve} (Optics), a curve to which the ray of light, reflected or refracted by another curve, are tangents, the reflecting or refracting curve and the luminous point being in one plane. {Caustic lime}. See under {Lime}. {Caustic potash}, {Caustic soda} (Chem.), the solid hydroxides potash, {KOH}, and soda, {NaOH}, or solutions of the same. {Caustic silver}, nitrate of silver, lunar caustic. {Caustic surface} (Optics), a surface to which rays reflected or refracted by another surface are tangents. Caustic curves and surfaces are called catacaustic when formed by reflection, and diacaustic when formed by refraction. Syn: Stinging; cutting; pungent; searching. [1913 Webster]

Caustic \Cau"stic\, n. [L. causticum (sc. medicamentum). See {Caustic}, a.] 1. Any substance or means which, applied to animal or other organic tissue, burns, corrodes, or destroys it by chemical action; an escharotic. [1913 Webster] 2. (Optics) A caustic curve or caustic surface. [1913 Webster]

Data Sources:

  • acerbic: WordNet (r) 2.0
  • acerbic: The Collaborative International Dictionary of English v.0.44
  • caustic: WordNet (r) 2.0
  • caustic: The Collaborative International Dictionary of English v.0.44
  • caustic: The Collaborative International Dictionary of English v.0.44

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