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any strongly corrosive chemical substance, especially one that attacks organic matter. A caustic alkali is a metal hydroxide, especially that of an alkali metal; caustic soda is sodium hydroxide, and caustic potash is potassium hydroxide. Silver nitrate is another caustic substance; it is sometimes called lunar caustic. Most inorganic acids, e.g., sulfuric acid, are caustic, especially when concentrated.
The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia™ Copyright © 2013, Columbia University Press. Licensed from Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.
The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.



a medicinal substance that exerts a local cauterizing effect when applied to the skin or a mucous membrane. Caustics are used for the destruction of certain skin neoplasms and for disinfection. They also perform antimicrobial activity by destroying the proteins of microorganisms. Caustics include such acids as fuming nitric acid and trichloracetic acid, such salts of heavy metals as silver nitrate and zinc sulfate, and alcohol solutions of iodine. Caustics are used in small concentrations as astringents.

The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.


Burning or corrosive.
A hydroxide of a light metal.
A curve or surface which is tangent to the rays of an initially parallel beam after reflection or refraction in an optical system.
A curve or surface which is tangent to adjacent orthogonals to waves that have been reflected or refracted from a curved surface.
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of Scientific & Technical Terms, 6E, Copyright © 2003 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.


1. capable of burning or corroding by chemical action
2. of, relating to, or denoting light that is reflected or refracted by a curved surface
3. a surface that envelopes the light rays reflected or refracted by a curved surface
4. a curve formed by the intersection of a caustic surface with a plane
5. Chem a caustic substance, esp an alkali
Collins Discovery Encyclopedia, 1st edition © HarperCollins Publishers 2005
References in periodicals archive ?
As Caustic, your ( Nox Gas Traps ability is crucial in your ( gameplan .
Caustic's whole skillset revolves around his unique poison gas called Nox.
Material and Methods: Patients were selected from those who presented with caustic ingestion history in Medical OPD, ER and in medical wards.
"A light beam emitted from any point on a caustic surface gets focussed by the black hole into a bright cusp of light at a given point," James continued.
From the results, it can be observed that as the incident beam is increased, the caustics moved further away from the origin.
Aazami was informally testing out a special case of their evolving caustics theorem called an "ellyptic umbilic" by using a technical computing software program when he noticed a pattern.
For more information on this new caustic additive, contact Dana Johnson at Birko, tel: 800-525-0476.
What's more, caustics at the ocean surface may give rise to the behemoth, ship-gobbling ocean swells known as rogue waves, adds Heller, who is currently developing a rogue-wave theory "having to do with what I learned from this electron branching."
We only describe the material properties that are relevant to the determination of the J integral through caustics. The load-displacement variation from a uniaxial tensile specimen is shown in Fig.
In such cases, there are often two tanks: one for "clean" caustic and one for slightly used caustic that is designed for what Johnson calls "sacrificial cleaning." The first round of caustic removes contaminants--including bacteria and various buildups--from the equipment before being discarded.
Another Caustic Soda Plant under the name and style M/s.
Anderson and her colleagues at Children's National Medical Center in Washington, D.C., used fiber-optic viewers to track esophageal healing in 60 children who had ingested caustic materials.