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[kav-i-tey-shuh n] /ˌkæv ɪˈteɪ ʃən/
the rapid formation and collapse of vapor pockets in a flowing liquid in regions of very low pressure, a frequent cause of structural damage to propellers, pumps, etc.
such a pocket formed in a flowing liquid.
Origin of cavitation
First recorded in 1890-95; cavit(y) + -ation Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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British Dictionary definitions for cavitation


the formation of vapour- or gas-filled cavities in a flowing liquid when tensile stress is superimposed on the ambient pressure
the formation of cavities in a structure
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for cavitation

"formation of bubbles in fluid," 1895, from cavity + -ation. Earlier as a medical term (1868).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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cavitation in Medicine

cavitation cav·i·ta·tion (kāv'ĭ-tā'shən)
The formation of cavities in a body tissue or an organ, especially those cavities that form in the lung as a result of tuberculosis.

The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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cavitation in Science
The formation of bubblelike gaps in a liquid. Mechanical forces, such as the moving blades of a ship's propeller or sudden negative changes in pressure, can cause cavitation.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary
Copyright © 2002. Published by Houghton Mifflin. All rights reserved.
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