wetting agent


: a substance that by becoming adsorbed prevents a surface from being repellent to a wetting liquid and is used especially in mixing solids with liquids or spreading liquids on surfaces

Example Sentences

Recent Examples on the Web One idea is that a yawn can help distribute a protective wetting agent called surfactant in the lungs and prevent them from collapsing. Jennifer Walter, Discover Magazine, 29 Dec. 2020 The money would go toward purchase of rock salt, or sodium chloride, and liquid calcium chloride, which is a pre-wetting agent for the rock salt. Steve Lord, chicagotribune.com, 8 Nov. 2021 Another type of simulated granite countertop kit, Transformations, available at www.rustoleum.com, uses an adhesive base coat, special wetting agent, decorative chips and two-part finish coating. James Dulley, Dallas News, 11 Jan. 2020 Color enhancers are basically wetting agents that also seal. Jeanne Huber, Washington Post, 12 Aug. 2019 Then an old-fashioned wetting agent that anybody who once had a darkroom will remember was used. Erik Lacitis, The Seattle Times, 16 July 2018

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

Word History

First Known Use

1927, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of wetting agent was in 1927

Dictionary Entries Near wetting agent

Cite this Entry

“Wetting agent.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/wetting%20agent. Accessed 30 Mar. 2023.

Medical Definition

wetting agent

: a substance that promotes the spreading of a liquid on a surface or the penetration of a liquid into a material especially by becoming adsorbed in such a way that the liquid is no longer repelled

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