hy·​dro·​phil·​ic ˌhī-drə-ˈfi-lik How to pronounce hydrophilic (audio)
: of, relating to, or having a strong affinity for water
hydrophilic proteins
hydrophilicity noun

Examples of hydrophilic in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web These SAPs, networks of hydrophilic polymer chains, can absorb liquids, turn the liquids into gels, and hold them even when under pressure–exactly what diapers and adult incontinence products are valued for. Carolyn Barber, Fortune, 13 July 2023 It is made up of molecules called phospholipids, long chains of carbon that interact with each other creating an internal environment inside the membrane that repels water (a hydrophobic environment), and surface molecules capable of interacting with water (a hydrophilic environment). Gabriel A. Silva, Forbes, 2 Aug. 2022 Chemists probably already know that these amphiphilic stabilizers are often a surfactant—a small molecule with a hydrophobic end and a hydrophilic end, such as those in detergents. IEEE Spectrum, 16 Mar. 2022 The triglycerides clump together and push away the hydrophilic liquid, the buttermilk. Vince C Reyes, Discover Magazine, 28 May 2013 An innermost layer made of hydrophilic (water-absorbing) material (cotton or cotton blends). Corey Gaskin, Ars Technica, 18 Dec. 2021 These socks are made with a thick blend of nylon and elastane in the outer layer, a hydrophilic membrane in the middle, and a blend of merino, acrylic, polester, nylon, and elastane on the inside—perfect in spacious wader boots for waterfowl hunting or fly-fishing. Jenny Nguyen-Wheatley, Outside Online, 2 Dec. 2022 Hyaluronic filler is hydrophilic, sometimes attracting lymph fluid that results in long-term discoloration. Anti-inflammatory and pro-healing topical skincare is the next line of defense, after icing, in reducing downtime. Jessica Ourisman, Harper's BAZAAR, 10 Feb. 2023 And if your filter is particularly sluggish after pulling it out of storage, Lundy suggests soaking it in a solution containing a hydrophilic agent such as coconut milk: 4 tablespoons mixed with 2 cups of water. Alisha McDarris, Popular Science, 2 Jan. 2023 See More

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'hydrophilic.' 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 hydrophilus, from Greek hydr- + -philos -philous

First Known Use

1901, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of hydrophilic was in 1901

Dictionary Entries Near hydrophilic

Cite this Entry

“Hydrophilic.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/hydrophilic. Accessed 24 Sep. 2023.

Medical Definition


1 of 2 adjective
hy·​dro·​phil·​ic -ˈfil-ik How to pronounce hydrophilic (audio)
: of, relating to, or having a strong affinity for water
hydrophilic colloids swell in water and are relatively stable
soft contact lenses are made of hydrophilic plastic, which absorbs water
compare lipophilic, lyophilic, oleophilic
hydrophilicity noun
plural hydrophilicities


2 of 2 noun
Last Updated: - Updated example sentences
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