Advanced and Proficiency Vocabulary for Exams(e.g.GRE, Banks, Civil Services, SAT / LSAT). For IELTS/TOEFL, and everyday spoken vocabulary, go to our Spoken Vocabulary Database.

mordant | mordantly

mordant mordantly
critical and mocking
  • How to Memorize
    • mordant - sharp
  • Analysis

    The formal word ‘mordant’ is derived from the Latin term meaning ‘to bite or sting’. In modern times it is most commonly used in a figurative way to refer to something that is ‘biting’ by being cruel and disparaging, particularly in a darkly humorous way. In some respects, it can be seen as employing wit as a weapon to attack or make fun of somebody or something.

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  • Example(s)
    1. Alice is without guile or tact and her mordant sense of humour often rubs co-workers up the wrong way.

    2. The novel was mordantly funny, with the author taking a darkly satirical view of contemporary life and culture.

    3. I did not appreciate the mordant remarks Frank made about my proposal. His cruelly mocking tone was demeaning and unnecessary.