hu·​mec·​tant | \hyü-ˈmek-tənt \

Definition of humectant 

: a substance that promotes retention of moisture

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Other Words from humectant

humectant adjective

Examples of humectant in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web

And instead of hydrating, occlusive ingredients trap humectants and emollients onto your skin, so your skin can stay hydrated and soft throughout the day. Ashley Weatherford, The Cut, "Everything You Need to Know About Putting Oils on Your Face," 12 July 2018 The most popular and effective humectants are glycerin and hyaluronic acid. Ashley Weatherford, The Cut, "Everything You Need to Know About Putting Oils on Your Face," 12 July 2018 Face spritzers gonna spritz, so Dr. Howe says that the most important thing is to find a formula that contains a good humectant — the more, the merrier. Rachel Krause,, "Is Your Face Mist Actually Making Your Skin Worse?," 8 May 2018 Commercial tortilla wraps contain a humectant, an additive that attracts water and keeps them lovely and soft for days. Nicola Temple, WSJ, "Give Processed Food a Break," 4 May 2018 Elliott says, detailing ingredients like a sugarcane derivative that acts as a humectant, and fermented polysaccharides that pack in the water. Laura Regensdorf, Vogue, "The One Facial You Need Just Landed in New York City—By Way of Japan," 23 Apr. 2018 For example, butylene glycol is an organic alcohol that’s often used for conditioning, and is a humectant. Kathleen Hou, The Cut, "What’s in Your Sheet Mask?," 28 Mar. 2018 Moisture-attracting humectants, like glycerin or hyaluronic acid (in Garnier's and Philosophy's, respectively), help strengthen weak skin cells. Krista Bennett Demaio, Cosmopolitan, "9 Beauty Fails That Mess With Your Skin (and How to Fix Them)," 2 Jan. 2015 According to Shamban, brown sugar is a powerful player in the DIY world, thanks to the fact that it's packed with wrinkle-fighting glycolic acid, as well as natural humectants to keep your skin soft and smooth. Ruby Buddemeyer, Marie Claire, "3 Super-Simple DIY Body Scrubs for Your Next Saturday Crafternoon," 23 Feb. 2018

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

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First Known Use of humectant

circa 1867, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for humectant

Latin humectant-, humectans, present participle of humectare to moisten, from humectus moist, from humēre to be moist — more at humor

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Dictionary Entries near humectant







humeral veil

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Time Traveler for humectant

The first known use of humectant was circa 1867

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More Definitions for humectant


hu·​mec·​tant | \hyü-ˈmek-tənt \

Medical Definition of humectant 

(Entry 1 of 2)

: promoting the retention of moisture humectant properties humectant materials



Medical Definition of humectant (Entry 2 of 2)

: a substance (as glycerol or sorbitol) that promotes retention of moisture

More from Merriam-Webster on humectant

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with humectant Encyclopedia article about humectant

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a nest or breeding place

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