mordant

If you like Edgar Allan Poe and "The Addams Family," you have a taste for mordant entertainment — that is, anything particularly grim or dark in nature.

The original meaning of mordant (which comes from the Latin word modere, meaning "to bite or sting,") was that of a physical substance that literally bit into something, such as the one used to set dye into fabrics, or etch lines into a copper plate. Now, mordant generally refers to a dark or biting artistic style, sense of humor, or psychological outlook.

Definitions of mordant
1

adj harshly ironic or sinister

“fun ranging from slapstick clowning ... to savage mordant wit”
Synonyms:
black, grim
sarcastic
expressing or expressive of ridicule that wounds

adj of a substance, especially a strong acid; capable of destroying or eating away by chemical action

Synonyms:
caustic, corrosive, erosive, vitriolic
destructive
causing destruction or much damage

n a substance used to treat leather or other materials before dyeing; aids in dyeing process

Types:
chrome alum
a violet-colored salt used in hide tanning and as a mordant in dyeing
antimony potassium tartrate, tartar emetic
a poisonous colorless salt used as a mordant and in medicine
sodium bichromate, sodium dichromate
a red-orange salt used as a mordant
Type of:
color, coloring material, colour, colouring material
any material used for its color

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