Definition of astringent in English:



  • 1Causing the contraction of body tissues, typically of the skin.

    ‘an astringent skin lotion’
    • ‘Nowadays herbalists use it for its astringent properties.’
    • ‘Many beneficial properties have been assigned to the mango, such as its antiscorbutic, diuretic, laxative and astringent effects.’
    • ‘Cucumbers are more than 90% water and have astringent properties, which help constrict blood vessels.’
    • ‘To detoxify and tone the liver after a meat-laden diet, Janet prescribed astringent greens like dandelion.’
    • ‘Witch hazel contains astringent tannins that dry up the fluid-filled skin and relieve pain by increasing circulation.’
    • ‘The astringent action of the alcohol will dry out your skin.’
    • ‘To clear up blemishes, dab an astringent facial toner on acne spots.’
    • ‘Putting cool compresses soaked in an astringent liquid on the blisters and sores might also make them hurt or itch less.’
    • ‘Tannins are astringent substances found in the seeds, skin and stems of grapes.’
    • ‘If your skin is oily, use a more astringent witch hazel-based toner.’
    • ‘A woody, citrus-like, mildly astringent blend which is excellent for combination skin - it will help to balance out patches of dry and oily skin.’
    • ‘The cooked or steamed fruit loses its laxative activity and becomes more astringent and constipating.’
    • ‘Tomatoes, which are astringent and acidic, assist in the digestion of dairy products and help counterbalance the greasy quality of the fatty, over-salted cheese.’
    • ‘Most packs and masks are astringent, so they stimulate blood circulation in the skin.’
    • ‘You will find that this lotion is slightly astringent, leaving your skin feeling cool and delightfully fragrant.’
    • ‘It has a bracing, fresh smell, is an all-natural essential oil, and it has astringent / antiseptic properties which will kill off bacteria.’
    • ‘Studies have shown that calendula ointments can accelerate the healing of wounds and have antiseptic, anti-inflammatory, astringent and immune-stimulating properties.’
    • ‘If your skin cracks open, doctors sometimes prescribe wet dressings with mildly astringent properties to contract the skin, reduce secretions and prevent infection.’
    • ‘It was included, because of its astringent qualities, in skin tonics, and became a principal ingredient in shampoos and hair rinses.’
    • ‘We know that strong tea is very astringent - it puckers the mouth - so think what it is doing to the kidneys.’
    constricting, contracting, constrictive, constringent, styptic
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  • 2Sharp or severe in manner or style.

    ‘her astringent words had their effect’
    • ‘These are quirky books, written by a quirky writer for quirky readers; they offer an astringent tonic in a time when narration, across genres and media, falls as often as not into saccharine complacency.’
    • ‘His less astringent manner could help him forge the strategic relationships his father couldn't.’
    • ‘The final chapter is nicely astringent and melancholic.’
    • ‘They wanted us to talk about our problems,’ His voice was astringent with sarcasm and cynicism.’
    • ‘This ambitious work is remarkably astringent and contemporary.’
    • ‘This daunting, darkly astringent music was played in a superlative manner by cellist Marilyn De Olivera (a graduate of Indiana and Rice Universities).’
    • ‘This is a fine work with all the characteristics of the composer's style: astringent harmonies, strong motor rhythms and lyrical melodies.’
    • ‘This tale cloys today's palate: we miss the astringent irony which Thomas Hardy would have brought to circumstances like these.’
    • ‘I see it as more sardonic and astringent, in the manner of Prokofiev.’
    • ‘The harmonies become slightly more astringent, and one hears a new fascination with cross-rhythms and syncopation.’
    • ‘But he is also capable of terse, astringent judgments and an incisive turn of phrase.’
    • ‘It's not saying anything against them to assert that there is also a tough, astringent view of life that should be given its due.’
    • ‘His recitative is more expressive, varying from something quite melodious to a fast-moving narration, in which individual words and phrases are expressed by astringent harmonies.’
    • ‘That said, I tend to agree with Cartledge's more astringent view of Alexander.’
    • ‘Weill's brief overture is wonderfully astringent and dissonant, the precise opposite of the florid, creamy style of the composer often regarded as his chief competitor, George Gershwin.’
    • ‘For its time, the sound is fairly astringent - like Mahler in a sullen mood.’
    • ‘Comparative work has been promoted by the Canadian historian Donald Akenson, providing an astringent critique of some of the clichés of Irish immigrant historiography.’
    severe, sharp, stern, harsh, rough, acerbic, austere, caustic, mordant, trenchant
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    1. 2.1(of taste or smell) sharp or bitter.
      ‘an astringent smell of rotting apples’
      • ‘Back inside, I find mother cooking, juicing lemons and chopping coriander, which has filled the kitchen with its slightly astringent smell.’
      • ‘And why do you think every salad you order is the same mixed shred of multicoloured crunchy stuff, which tastes only of the astringent, mustard-thick dressing squirted over it?’
      • ‘A bitter, astringent scent like hospital antiseptic is in the air.’
      • ‘Buttermilk is an assortment of three tastes - sweet, sour and astringent.’
      • ‘Young red wines may also contain excessive quantities of tannins, which taste bitter and astringent unless allowed to polymerize during extended bottle ageing.’
      • ‘It had a sour, faintly astringent smell of decay.’
      • ‘Focus on spicy, bitter and astringent tastes, and reduce sweet, salty and sour-tasting foods.’
      • ‘The rest of the plant has a distinctive, astringent smell that can be detected by rubbing the leaves or flowers.’
      • ‘The bright green fruits are said to have a sour, sweet, bitter, and astringent taste, with a cooling energy.’
      • ‘The strong astringent smell of ammonia invigorated Ted for the first time all morning.’
      • ‘It is even possible that the urge to consume bitter and astringent compounds such as tea, coffee and chilli is an ancient drive to eat foods that help combat our many parasites.’
      • ‘The deep green, hairy leaves make a slightly astringent tea that's similar to a mild, fragrant China tea.’
      • ‘If you find sage's pungent and astringent taste too strong, mix it with some cooling mint, lemon balm, or lemon juice.’
      • ‘The tannins in a wine come from skins, seeds, and stems, and when those parts are still green at picking time, the wine can be rough and astringent.’
      • ‘The presence of phenols gives the water a slightly astringent taste and a light orange-yellowish colour.’
      • ‘Prior to processing, cocoa has a rather astringent taste.’
      • ‘Taste is actually a very direct way of experiencing the pharmacology of a plant - certain strong alkaloids taste bitter, volatile oils have an aromatic taste, certain plant acids have a sour of astringent taste.’
      • ‘At first we protested vigorously, but when we had grown accustomed to the astringent flavour of the fruit, we were glad to take our share.’
      • ‘The anticarcinogenic compounds that taste astringent to us are actually toxins too - poisonous to the insects that chew on the plants.’
      • ‘Where are the days of long, complex formulas, and what has happened to difficult perfumes that smell sharp and astringent, or dry and peppery?’
      • ‘Green tomatoes tend to be astringent and in the South are most often fried in cornmeal and served with a tangy dip.’


  • A substance that causes the contraction of body tissues, typically used to protect the skin and to reduce bleeding from minor abrasions.

    • ‘Black tea contains tannin, an astringent that can help relieve pain.’
    • ‘Alcohol-based astringents and toners can make skin even drier.’
    • ‘Fruits like Granny Smith apples and grapefruit act as astringents and help cut down on excessive cravings.’
    • ‘Also, avoid using astringents containing alcohol on anywhere but the most oily patches of skin.’
    • ‘Unlike the above circulatory herbs, horse chestnut is an astringent.’
    • ‘Witch hazel is an old-fashioned astringent found at your local pharmacy or grocery store.’
    • ‘They have been used since ancient times as anaesthetics, analgesics, anti-allergens, anti-carcinogens, antiseptics, antibiotics, antispasmodics and astringents.’
    • ‘Witch hazel is a cooling astringent, and vegetable glycerin moisturizes your skin.’
    • ‘You may also consider using a toner or astringent after washing your face.’
    • ‘Rosewood and grapefruit are both mild astringents and will improve the colour and texture of the skin.’
    • ‘I use witch hazel as an astringent.’
    • ‘A range of ointments is available that contain local anaesthetics, mild astringents, or steroids.’
    • ‘They should not try to scrub the lesions away, and they should not use alcohol-based astringents that can dry and irritate their skin.’
    • ‘Spray your face with your homemade astringent.’
    • ‘I use a gentle astringent as I have oily skin.’
    • ‘The team demonstrated this by tasting white wines, which do not contain astringents.’
    • ‘The stem bark is also used as an astringent and febrifuge for relapsing fevers.’
    • ‘Polyphenols - phytochemicals that act like astringents - are major sources of antioxidants in apples.’
    • ‘The alcohol will remove excess oils, the witch hazel will tighten skin and close the pores, and the juice will act as a healing astringent and exfoliant.’
    • ‘Hawthorn berry and flower, for example, are considered excellent cardiac tonics, diuretics and astringents.’


Mid 16th century: from French, from Latin astringent- pulling tight from the verb astringere, from ad- toward + stringere bind, pull tight.