hy·​droxy hī-ˈdräk-sē How to pronounce hydroxy (audio)
: being or containing hydroxyl
especially : containing hydroxyl especially in place of hydrogen
usually used in combination
hydroxyacetic acid

Examples of hydroxy in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web In addition to hydroxy acids, the formula also features a collection of soothing ingredients such as aloe, chamomile, and rose oil to help keep inflammation and irritation at bay. Jessie Quinn, Peoplemag, 12 May 2023 The latter, chemical exfoliants, typically use hydroxy acids (alpha, beta or poly) to break down dead skin cells, and some (like beta hydroxy acids, namely salicylic acid) even seep into the pores themselves to flush out excess oil buildup and temper sebum production. Adam Hurly, Robb Report, 18 Oct. 2022 Examples of chemical exfoliators include glycolic and alpha-hydroxy acids. Kathleen Felton, Health, 27 Feb. 2023 Yes These hydroxy acid pads have a cult following for a good reason. Women's Health, 23 Feb. 2023 Grape and apple juices contain alpha-hydroxy acids, phytonutrients, vitamins, flavonoids, phenols and resveratrol antioxidants that promote a beautiful, healthy scalp. Lorraine Wilde, Treehugger, 25 Jan. 2023 Target bumpy skin with Bliss Texture Takedown Skin Smoothing Body Butter, which uses an alpha-hydroxy-acid blend to slough and smooth. Harper's Bazaar Staff, Harper's BAZAAR, 11 Jan. 2023 Alpha hydroxy acids may not be as harsh, but the exfoliant can inflame already irritated skin even further. Gabi Thorne, Allure, 29 Jan. 2023 The innovative formula uses a blend of alpha hydroxy acids to neutralize odor through your body’s own chemistry. Cristina Montemayor, Men's Health, 12 Dec. 2022 See More

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

Word History


International Scientific Vocabulary, from hydroxyl

First Known Use

1812, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of hydroxy was in 1812

Dictionary Entries Near hydroxy

Cite this Entry

“Hydroxy.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/hydroxy. Accessed 3 Oct. 2023.

Medical Definition


hy·​droxy hī-ˈdräk-sē How to pronounce hydroxy (audio)
: being or containing hydroxyl
especially : containing hydroxyl in place of hydrogen
often used in combination
hydroxybutyric acid
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