New Word Wednesday: mordant

Happy Wednesday! Here’s your new word for the week:

mordant adjective

  • (especially of humor) having or showing a sharp or critical quality; biting

Example: “He has a mordant sense of humor”


mordant noun

  • a substance, typically an inorganic oxide, that combines with a dye or stain and thereby fixes it in a material

  • an adhesive compound for fixing gold leaf

  • a corrosive liquid used to etch the lines on a printing plate

Wool is usually pretreated with a metal compound called a mordant, to get the color to stick well on the fiber. Common mordants are compounds of aluminum, iron, copper, tin, and chromium.


mordant verb

  • impregnate (or treat) a fabric with a mordant


Origin: late 15th century, from French mordre “to bite,” from Latin mordere


Well there you have it: humor, with an extra serving of fiber arts! Enjoy your new word (really, it’s three words in one!), and if you have any suggestions feel free to send them my way.






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