deliquesce

verb
del·​i·​quesce | \ ˌde-li-ˈkwes How to pronounce deliquesce (audio) \
deliquesced; deliquescing

Definition of deliquesce

intransitive verb

1 : to dissolve or melt away
2 : to become soft or liquid with age or maturity used of some fungal structures (such as gills)

Keep scrolling for more

Synonyms & Antonyms for deliquesce

Synonyms

Antonyms

Visit the Thesaurus for More 

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."

Examples of deliquesce in a Sentence

a rotting tomato slowly deliquescing in the hot summer sun
Recent Examples on the Web That was sitting out there, in a state of just deliquescing. Daniel A. Gross, The New Yorker, 29 Oct. 2019 Not lumpia Shanghai, spring rolls as skinny as cheroots, the ground pork inside flecked with deliquescing fat. Ligaya Mishan, New York Times, 15 June 2017

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'deliquesce.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

First Known Use of deliquesce

1756, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for deliquesce

Latin deliquescere, from de- + liquescere, inchoative of liquēre to be fluid — more at liquid

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More About deliquesce

Time Traveler for deliquesce

Time Traveler

The first known use of deliquesce was in 1756

See more words from the same year

Listen to Our Podcast About deliquesce

Dictionary Entries Near deliquesce

delint

deliquesce

deliquescent

See More Nearby Entries 

Statistics for deliquesce

Cite this Entry

“Deliquesce.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/deliquesce. Accessed 26 Sep. 2021.

Style: MLA
MLACheck Mark Icon ChicagoCheck Mark Icon APACheck Mark Icon Merriam-WebsterCheck Mark Icon

WORD OF THE DAY

Test Your Vocabulary

Difficult Spelling Words Quiz

  • alphabet pasta spelling help
  • Which is the correct spelling?
True or False

Test your knowledge - and maybe learn something along the way.

TAKE THE QUIZ
Universal Daily Crossword

A daily challenge for crossword fanatics.

TAKE THE QUIZ
Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!