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Alternative forms[edit]


From Latin stypticus, from Ancient Greek στυπτικός (stuptikós), from στύφειν (stúphein, to contract).



styptic (comparative more styptic, superlative most styptic)

  1. Bringing about contraction of tissues; harsh, raw, austere.
    • 1982, TC Boyle, Water Music, Penguin 2006, p. 328:
      Boyles turns to look over his shoulder, squinting into the styptic sun, and then flags a hand over his head.
  2. (medicine, by extension) That stops bleeding.
    • 1973, Nicholas Monsarrat, The Kapillan of Malta:
      The growth on top was a scrubby plant, unknown anywhere else on Malta, which was believed to have styptic qualities – it could staunch bleeding when packed on top of a wound […].
    • 1959, Daniel Keyes, Flowers for Algernon:
      But I waited while he dabbed at the cut with styptic powder.


styptic (plural styptics)

  1. A substance used for styptic results.
    • 1876, Henry Beasley, The Book of Prescriptions:
      The powdered gum with resin is used as a styptic; and the mucilage has been recommended as an application to burns.
    • 1889, John Barclay Biddle, Materia Medica and Therapeutics: For Physicians and Students:
      Externally, it is applied as a styptic, and in solution, of various strengths, as an astringent.
    • 1990, A. L. Tommie Bass et al., Herbal Medicine Past and Present
      Knowledge of puffball's use as a styptic and for hemorrhoids reached Bass through the popular tradition.

Derived terms[edit]