hy·​dro·​pon·​ics ˌhī-drə-ˈpä-niks How to pronounce hydroponics (audio)
plural in form but singular in construction
: the growing of plants in nutrient solutions with or without an inert medium (such as soil) to provide mechanical support
hydroponic adjective
hydroponically adverb

Did you know?

Hydroponics, also known as aquaculture or tank farming, began as a way of studying scientifically the mechanisms of plant nutrition. Hydroponically grown plants may have no solid material under them at all; instead, their roots often simply hang in water with a rich mix of nutrients dissolved in it. The principal advantage to hydroponics is the savings from reduced labor costs, since it's generally carried on in enclosed areas and the irrigation and fertilizing are done mechanically. Peppers, cucumbers, and various other vegetables are produced hydroponically in huge quantities.

Examples of hydroponics in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web Scotts went around this prohibition by buying companies that produce products for the hydroponics industry. Q.ai - Powering A Personal Wealth Movement, Forbes, 26 Jan. 2023 For an entire year, Drake lived and breathed the details about hydroponics. Darcel Rockett, Chicago Tribune, 10 Nov. 2022 But a hydroponics system in space is not without its challenges. Benjamin Plackett, Discover Magazine, 22 Jan. 2019 Between advances in water desalination, greenhouse construction, precision irrigation, and hydroponics, the country has grown into an ag-tech powerhouse. Time, 30 Nov. 2022 Certain models use hydroponics, which is a growing system that doesn't require soil and uses less water than traditional growing methods. Ellen McAlpine, Country Living, 7 Nov. 2022 Using hydroponics, indoor lighting and rotating planters, the zoo has successfully reduced water and nutrient consumption by 95 percent relative to conventional systems. Discover Magazine, 29 June 2010 Some missions have had success growing plants in water, a method called hydroponics, but that requires a continuous resupply of nutrients from Earth. Madeleine Gregory, Discover Magazine, 8 Apr. 2022 In New York, a nonprofit called Teens for Food Justice installs hydroponics in schools with a focus on food insecurity and education. Cole Sinanian, The Christian Science Monitor, 9 Dec. 2022 See More

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

Word History


hydr- + -ponics (as in geoponics agriculture)

First Known Use

1937, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of hydroponics was in 1937

Dictionary Entries Near hydroponics

Cite this Entry

“Hydroponics.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/hydroponics. Accessed 4 Mar. 2024.

Kids Definition


hy·​dro·​pon·​ics ˌhī-drə-ˈpän-iks How to pronounce hydroponics (audio)
: the growing of plants in nutrient solutions
hydroponic adjective

More from Merriam-Webster on hydroponics

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!