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Deposit of water droplets formed at night by the condensation of water vapour from the air onto the surfaces of exposed objects. Dew forms on clear nights, when exposed surfaces lose heat by radiation and are thus usually colder than the air. The cold surface cools the air in its vicinity, and, if the air is humid enough, it may cool below its dew point, the temperature at which water vapour condenses out of the air onto the surface. See alsofrost.
This entry comes from Encyclopædia Britannica Concise. For the full entry on dew, visit Britannica.com.