desiccate

verb
des·​ic·​cate | \ˈde-si-ˌkāt \
desiccated; desiccating

Definition of desiccate 

transitive verb

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

intransitive verb

: to become dried up leaves desiccating in winter Lake Valencia has been … steadily desiccating for more than 200 years.— J. Platt Bradbury et al.

Keep scrolling for more

Other Words from desiccate

desiccation \ˌde-​si-​ˈkā-​shən \ noun
desiccative \ˈde-​si-​ˌkā-​tiv \ adjective
desiccator \ˈde-​si-​ˌkā-​tər \ noun

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").

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

Recent Examples on the Web

Pipe a line of frosting around the hat and sprinkle with nonpareils or desiccated coconut. Woman's Day Kitchen, Woman's Day, "Snowy Cookie Truffles," 30 Nov. 2018 Many people prefer desiccated thyroid (Journal of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism, May 2013). Teresa Graedon, The Seattle Times, "CBD oil keeps long-distance runner going," 25 Oct. 2018 Wood releases most of its moisture through its end grain, and both types of stacks expose the wood to capitalize on the heat of the sun and desiccating breezes. Roy Berendsohn, Popular Mechanics, "The Right Way to Stack Firewood," 28 Sep. 2018 Schaus' swallowtails historically lived in tropical hardwood hammocks from Miami south into the Keys, but their population crashed as droughts desiccated their remaining habitat. Jennifer Kay, Fox News, "Researchers help rare butterfly take flight in Florida Keys," 27 July 2018 Fires exploded in Northern California and in the Southwestern U.S., where a prolonged and severe drought has desiccated forests. Washington Post, "Colorado wildfire destroys 3 homes as flames menace US West," 5 July 2018 Fires exploded in Northern California, Utah and other areas, where a prolonged and severe drought has desiccated forests. Colleen Slevin, Fox News, "Fires menace US West, tornado touches Colorado wildfire site," 6 July 2018 Fires exploded in Northern California, Utah and other areas, where a prolonged and severe drought has desiccated forests. CBS News, "More than 60 large wildfires burning across U.S.," 6 July 2018 Earth’s atmosphere has a habit of desiccating things, after all, so plants evolved something called cutin, a waxy barrier against the elements. Matt Simon, WIRED, "The Amphiphilic Liquid Coating That Keeps Your Avocados Fresh," 21 June 2018

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

See More

First Known Use of desiccate

1575, in the meaning defined at transitive sense 1

History and Etymology for desiccate

Latin desiccatus, past participle of desiccare to dry up, from de- + siccare to dry, from siccus dry — more at sack

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about desiccate

Listen to Our Podcast about desiccate

Statistics for desiccate

Last Updated

14 Dec 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for desiccate

The first known use of desiccate was in 1575

See more words from the same year

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for desiccate

desiccate

verb
des·​ic·​cate | \ˈdes-i-ˌkāt \
desiccated; desiccating

Medical Definition of desiccate 

transitive verb

1 : 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

Keep scrolling for more

Comments on desiccate

What made you want to look up desiccate? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).

WORD OF THE DAY

a soft lustrous wool fabric with mohair

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Late Autumn 2018 Words of the Day Quiz

  • frosted-autumn-leaves
  • Which is a synonym of yahoo?
How Strong Is Your Vocabulary?

Test your vocabulary with our 10-question quiz!

TAKE THE QUIZ
Citation

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

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!