Definition of desiccate
1 : to dry up <the desiccated land>
2 : to preserve (a food) by drying : dehydrate <desiccated coconut>
3 : to drain of emotional or intellectual vitality < … a charming little romance … not desiccated and compressed within the pages of a book — Elinor Wylie>
: to become dried up <leaves desiccating in winter> <Lake Valencia has been … steadily desiccating for more than 200 years. — J. Platt Bradbury et al.>
desiccationplay \ˌde-si-ˈkā-shən\ noun
desiccativeplay \ˈde-si-ˌkā-tiv\ adjective
desiccatorplay \ˈde-si-ˌkā-tər\ noun
Examples of desiccate in a sentence
<that historian's dryasdust prose desiccates what is actually an exciting period in European history>
<add a cup of desiccated coconut to the mix>
Did You Know?
Raisins are desiccated grapes; they're also dehydrated grapes. And yet, a close look at the etymologies of desiccate and dehydrate raises a tangly question. In Latin siccus means "dry," whereas the Greek stem hydr- means "water." So how could it be that desiccate and dehydrate are synonyms? The answer is in the multiple identities of the prefix de-. It may look like the same prefix, but the de- in desiccate means "completely, thoroughly," as in despoil ("to spoil utterly") or denude ("to strip completely bare"). The de- in dehydrate, on the other hand, means "remove," the same as it does in defoliate ("to strip of leaves") or in deice ("to rid of ice").
Origin and Etymology of desiccate
Latin desiccatus, past participle of desiccare to dry up, from de- + siccare to dry, from siccus dry — more at sack
First Known Use: 1575
Medical Definition of desiccate
transitive verb: to dry up or cause to dry up : deprive or exhaust of moisture; especially : to dry thoroughly <uses radio frequencies of 100,000 Hz to 10,000,000 Hz to cut, coagulate, and desiccate tissue—Bettyann Hutchisson et al>
2: to preserve a food by drying : dehydrate <desiccated coconut>
intransitive verb: to become dried up : undergo a desiccating process
Seen and Heard
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