hy·​gro·​scop·​ic ˌhī-grə-ˈskä-pik How to pronounce hygroscopic (audio)
: readily taking up and retaining moisture
hygroscopic soils
: taken up and retained under some conditions of humidity and temperature
hygroscopic water in clay

Example Sentences

Recent Examples on the Web These won’t cause any skin irritation and are hygroscopic, anti-static, ventilated, and comfortable to lay on. Chris Hachey, BGR, 17 Mar. 2021 The term often used to describe sugar’s ability to attract water is hygroscopic. Washington Post, 5 Oct. 2020 These hydrogels have also been used for absorption— hygroscopic compounds are typically used in refrigeration. David Grossman, Popular Mechanics, 14 Mar. 2019 The Texas team focused on combining the abilities of an especially absorbent hydrogel known as hygroscopic polypyrrole chloride with one that is reacts to heat called isopropylacrylamide. David Grossman, Popular Mechanics, 14 Mar. 2019

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'hygroscopic.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

Word History


hygroscope, an instrument showing changes in humidity + -ic entry 1; from the use of such materials in the hygroscope

First Known Use

1790, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Time Traveler
The first known use of hygroscopic was in 1790

Dictionary Entries Near hygroscopic

Cite this Entry

“Hygroscopic.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/hygroscopic. Accessed 2 Dec. 2022.

Medical Definition



hy·​gro·​scop·​ic ˌhī-grə-ˈskäp-ik How to pronounce hygroscopic (audio)
: readily taking up and retaining moisture
glycerol is hygroscopic
hygroscopicity noun
plural hygroscopicities
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