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caustic

caustic, 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, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.

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The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.