Definition of deliquesce
1 : to dissolve or melt away
2 : to become soft or liquid with age or maturity —used of some fungal structures (such as gills)
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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- ("from, down, 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 and Etymology of deliquesce
Latin deliquescere, from de- + liquescere, inchoative of liquēre to be fluid — more at liquid
First Known Use: 1756
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