hy·drau·lic | \hī-ˈdrȯ-lik \

Definition of hydraulic 

1 : operated, moved, or effected by means of water

2a : of or relating to hydraulics hydraulic engineer

b : of or relating to water or other liquid in motion hydraulic erosion

3 : operated by the resistance offered or the pressure transmitted when a quantity of liquid (such as water or oil) is forced through a comparatively small orifice or through a tube hydraulic brakes

4 : hardening or setting under water hydraulic cement

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Other Words from hydraulic

hydraulically \hī-ˈdrȯ-li-k(ə-)lē \ adverb

Did You Know?

By means of a hydraulic lift, the driver can lift the bed of a dump truck with the touch of a button. He might also repair the hydraulic steering, the hydraulic brake, or the hydraulic clutch—all of which, like the lift that holds everything up, take advantage of the way liquids act under pressure. Somewhat like a pulley or a lever, a hydraulic system magnifies the effect of moderate pressure exerted over a longer distance into powerful energy for a shorter distance.

Examples of hydraulic in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web

There’s been a race to build new sand mines in West Texas’ Permian Basin to satisfy all of the hydraulic fracturing needs for oil wells. Jordan Blum, San Antonio Express-News, "New sand mine planned south of San Antonio for the Eagle Ford Shale region," 24 May 2018 The suspension is also adaptive, using McLaren’s active hydraulic system. Basem Wasef, WIRED, "McLaren's $958,966 Senna Hypercar Ain't Pretty, but It Can Whip a Track," 30 June 2018 Firefighters had to use hydraulic extrication tools to get them out of their vehicles, according to the release. Adam Sennott, BostonGlobe.com, "Two men injured in crash on Route 44 in Raynham," 15 June 2018 The force of collision pushed the Corolla against a utility box, requiring hydraulic tools to extricate the people inside. Staff Report, Elgin Courier-News, "Woman, unborn baby die after Carpentersville car crash," 22 May 2018 Officers from the Newburgh Police Department responded and were able to extricate the girl from the car with a hydraulic rescue tool, or the Jaws of Life, according to NBC 4 New York. Lindsay Kimble, PEOPLE.com, "11-Year-Old New York Girl Killed After Storm Downs Tree and Traps Her in Family Car," 16 May 2018 Later, the vessel lost electrical power, which flipped the hydraulic propulsion system into reverse. Anchorage Daily News, "A decade after the Alaska Ranger sank, a survivor changes his story," 13 Apr. 2018 Rubio also described widespread problems at the zoo: Refrigerators used to store meat for the animals are broken, and the hydraulic pumping system isn’t functioning, so the manatees don’t have enough water in their tank. Jim Wyss, miamiherald, "Venezuela’s zoo animals are starving, and a one-time actor wants to airlift them out | Miami Herald," 13 Mar. 2018 One report cited flaws in its fuel tank and hydraulic systems that increase the plane’s vulnerability to lightning strikes and enemy fire, especially at low altitudes. Jonathan Broder, Newsweek, "More Bad News for the F-35, the Plane That Ate the Pentagon," 30 Sep. 2015

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'hydraulic.' 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 hydraulic

1661, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for hydraulic

Latin hydraulicus, from Greek hydraulikos, from hydraulis hydraulic organ, from hydr- + aulos reed instrument — more at alveolus

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Statistics for hydraulic

Last Updated

20 Oct 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for hydraulic

The first known use of hydraulic was in 1661

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English Language Learners Definition of hydraulic

: operated by the pressure of a fluid

: occurring or used in a hydraulic system


hy·drau·lic | \hī-ˈdrȯ-lik \

Kids Definition of hydraulic

1 : operated, moved, or brought about by means of water hydraulic pressure

2 : operated by liquid forced through a small hole or through a tube hydraulic brakes

Other Words from hydraulic

hydraulically \-li-kə-lē \ adverb

More from Merriam-Webster on hydraulic

Spanish Central: Translation of hydraulic

Nglish: Translation of hydraulic for Spanish Speakers

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