adjective: 1. contracting or constricting
2. caustic; pungent
3. stern; austere
noun: a substance that constricts body tissue
From Latin astringere (to bind fast), from ad- (toward) + stringere (to bind). Ultimately from the Indo-European root streig- (to stroke or press), which is also the source of strike, streak, strict, stress, strain, and strait. Earliest documented use: 1541.
Usage (from Wordsmith)
“However, unlike the apple and its other cousin the pear, quince flesh is hard and astringent and cannot be eaten raw.”
Jan Bilton; Quinces, the Perfect Accompaniments; Hawke’s Bay Today (New Zealand); Apr 25, 2014.