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.

More on caustic from Fact Monster:

  • lunar caustic - lunar caustic: lunar caustic: see silver nitrate.
  • silver nitrate - silver nitrate silver nitrate , chemical compound, AgNO3, a colorless crystalline material that is ...
  • potassium hydroxide - potassium hydroxide potassium hydroxide, chemical compound with formula KOH. Pure potassium ...
  • sodium hydroxide - sodium hydroxide sodium hydroxide, chemical compound, NaOH, a white crystalline substance that ...
  • calcium oxide - calcium oxide calcium oxide, chemical compound, CaO, a colorless, cubic crystalline or white ...

See more Encyclopedia articles on: Compounds and Elements

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