Definition of deliquesce
1 : to dissolve or melt away
2 : to become soft or liquid with age or maturity —used of some fungal structures (as gills)
Examples of deliquesce in a sentence
<a rotting tomato slowly deliquescing in the hot summer sun>
Did You Know?
Deliquesce derives from the prefix de- ("completely, away") and a form of the Latin verb liquēre, meaning "to be fluid." Things that deliquesce, it could be said, turn to mush in more ways than one. In scientific contexts, a substance that deliquesces absorbs moisture from the atmosphere until it dissolves in the absorbed water and forms a solution. When plants and fungi deliquesce, they lose rigidity as they age. When "deliquesce" is used in non-scientific contexts, it is often in a figurative or humorous way to suggest the act of "melting away" under exhaustion, heat, or idleness, as in "teenagers deliquescing in 90-degree temperatures."
Origin of deliquesce
Latin deliquescere, from de- + liquescere, inchoative of liquēre to be fluid — more at liquid
First Known Use: 1756
Rhymes with deliquesce
ABS, acquiesce, baroness, bitter cress, CBS, coalesce, convalesce, crown princess, DES, decompress, derepress, dispossess, due process, effervesce, effloresce, evanesce, full-court press, gentilesse, granny dress, in-process, inverness, Inverness, less and less, letterpress, luminesce, Lyonnesse, minidress, more or less, nonetheless, obsolesce, otherguess, overdress, pennycress, phosphoresce, politesse, prepossess, preprocess, recrudesce, repossess, reprocess, retrogress, second-guess, SOS, sweaterdress, underdress, watercress, window-dress, word process
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