hy·​dro·​dy·​nam·​ic ˌhī-drō-dī-ˈna-mik How to pronounce hydrodynamic (audio)
variants or less commonly hydrodynamical
: of, relating to, or involving principles of hydrodynamics
hydrodynamically adverb

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Bernoulli's principle, which is basic to the science of hydrodynamics, says that the faster a fluid substance flows, the less outward pressure it exerts. It shows the close relationship between hydrodynamics and aerodynamics (which deals with the movement of air and other gases), since it can partly explain how air will "lift" an airplane by the way it flows over the wings, and how a spoiler helps keep a race car's wheels pressed to the ground as it accelerates. Hydrodynamics is sometimes applied today in studying the surface of the planets and even the stars. As used informally by boaters, hydrodynamic often means "hydrodynamically efficient".

Examples of hydrodynamic in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web Federico Ferrante, president of Azimut Americas, said the 44M will have a hydrodynamic wing under the dual-mode hull that provides better fuel efficiency at the same speeds. Michael Verdon, Robb Report, 25 Mar. 2024 So Bailey and co decided to simulate the collision using state-of-the-art hydrodynamic modelling software. Discover Magazine, 30 Oct. 2023 The sleek aluminum hull has been optimized to improve hydrodynamic efficiency and reduce fuel consumption. Rachel Cormack, Robb Report, 19 Sep. 2023 With a combination of the hydrodynamic forces and about 270 kg of ballast, Tustin says the sub will get to the bottom of the Mariana Trench in 2 hours, leaving plenty of battery time for an exploration of the seafloor. Eliza Strickland, IEEE Spectrum, 29 Feb. 2012 The 180-footer sports a steel hull for low hydrodynamic resistance, along with an aluminum superstructure and carefully balanced weight distribution. Rachel Cormack, Robb Report, 18 Mar. 2021 Researchers also created a hydrodynamic model that simulated the forces and flows of the bird's wings. Elizabeth Gamillo, Discover Magazine, 28 June 2023 Ever try to build a sleek hydrodynamic enclosure that can withstand a pressure that’s equivalent, over its entire surface, to the weight of four pickup trucks pressing on an area the size of a postage stamp? Eliza Strickland, IEEE Spectrum, 29 Feb. 2012 Think of Hawkes’s machine as an underwater flyer, one whose stubby wings generate hydrodynamic forces to pull the vehicle down into the abyss rather than up into the air. Eliza Strickland, IEEE Spectrum, 29 Feb. 2012

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'hydrodynamic.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History


New Latin hydrodynamicus, from hydr- + dynamicus dynamic

First Known Use

circa 1828, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of hydrodynamic was circa 1828

Dictionary Entries Near hydrodynamic

Cite this Entry

“Hydrodynamic.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/hydrodynamic. Accessed 28 May. 2024.

Medical Definition


hy·​dro·​dy·​nam·​ic -dī-ˈnam-ik How to pronounce hydrodynamic (audio)
variants also hydrodynamical
: of, relating to, or involving principles of hydrodynamics
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