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From caustic +‎ -ity.



causticity (countable and uncountable, plural causticities)

  1. The quality of being physically caustic; burning, corrosive.
    • 1777, Pierre Macquer, A Dictionary of Chemistry, translated by James Keir, London: T. Cadell & P. Elmsly, Vol. III, [1]
      Causticity is that sharp and corroding quality, which many substances possess, such as the mineral acids, especially when concentrated, alkalies fixed and volatile, quicklime, arsenic, corrosive sublimate, lunar crystals, butter of antimony, and even most other salts with metallic bases.
    • 1961, Bottling: A Quarterly Supplement to the Brewing Trade Review, Issues 147-154, p. 171, [2]
      Some years ago, we read in a U.S. trade paper a method for determining causticity of bottle-washing solution when foil labels are contained on the bottles undergoing cleansing treatment.
    • 1996, Christopher J. Biermann, Handbook of Pulping and Papermaking, Academic Press, 3.8 Kraft Pulping, p. 89, [3]
      Causticity is the ratio of NaOH to active alkali (as always both chemicals are on an Na2O basis), expressed as a percentage.
  2. (figuratively) Being caustic in speech, humour etc.
    • 1924, Herman Melville, Billy Budd, London: Constable & Co., Chapter 22, [4]
      [] one in whom a discreet causticity went along with a manner less genial than polite []
    • 1977, Alistair Horne, A Savage War of Peace, New York Review Books 2006, p. 65:
      He had not, he remarked with crushing causticity to one of his ministers, liberated France ‘to worry about the macaroni ration’.