astringent

You know that vinegar-like liquid teens put on their faces in order to tighten their pores and dry up their pimples? That's astringent. An astringent personality, on the other hand, is perceived as bitter and perhaps even a bit toxic.

Astringent may be a lifesaver for an acne-prone teen, but when the term is used as an adjective and applied to you personally, it's less positive. Since astringents are acid-based, an astringent personality can also be corrosive. If someone is prone to biting sarcasm and cynicism, he probably has an astringent view of the world.

Definitions of astringent
  1. adjective
    tending to draw together or constrict soft organic tissue
    astringent cosmetic lotions”
    Synonyms:
    hemostatic, styptic
    tending to check bleeding by contracting the tissues or blood vessels
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    Antonyms:
    nonastringent
    not astringent
  2. noun
    a drug that causes contraction of body tissues and canals
    synonyms: astringent drug, styptic
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    types:
    alum
    a double sulphate of aluminum and potassium that is used as an astringent (among other things)
    type of:
    medicament, medication, medicinal drug, medicine
    (medicine) something that treats or prevents or alleviates the symptoms of disease
  3. adjective
    sour or bitter in taste
    synonyms: acerb, acerbic
    sour
    having a sharp biting taste
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