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[des-i-keyt] /ˈdɛs ɪˌkeɪt/
verb (used with object), desiccated, desiccating.
to dry thoroughly; dry up.
to preserve (food) by removing moisture; dehydrate.
verb (used without object), desiccated, desiccating.
to become thoroughly dried or dried up.
Origin of desiccate
1565-75; < Latin dēsiccātus dried up, past participle of dēsiccāre, equivalent to dē- de- + siccāre, derivative of siccus dry; see -ate1
Related forms
desiccation, noun
desiccative, adjective Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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British Dictionary definitions for desiccation


(transitive) to remove most of the water from (a substance or material); dehydrate
(transitive) to preserve (food) by removing moisture; dry
(intransitive) to become dried up
Derived Forms
desiccation, noun
desiccative, adjective
Word Origin
C16: from Latin dēsiccāre to dry up, from de- + siccāre to dry, from siccus dry
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 desiccation

early 15c., from Middle French desiccation or directly from Late Latin desiccationem (nominative desiccatio), noun of action from past participle stem of Latin desiccare "to make very dry," from de- "thoroughly" + siccare "to dry" (see siccative).



1570s (past participle adjective desicatt is attested from early 15c.), from Latin desiccatus, past participle of desiccare "to make very dry" (see desiccation). Related: Desiccated; desiccating.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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desiccation in Medicine

desiccation des·ic·ca·tion (děs'ĭ-kā'shən)
The process of being desiccated.

des'ic·ca'tive (-tĭv) adj.

desiccate des·ic·cate (děs'ĭ-kāt')
v. des·ic·cat·ed, des·ic·cat·ing, des·ic·cates
To dry thoroughly; render free from moisture.

The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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desiccation in Science
To remove the moisture from something or dry it thoroughly. ◇ A desiccator is a container that removes moisture from the air within it. ◇ A desiccator contains a desiccant, a substance that traps or absorbs water molecules. Some desiccants include silica gel (silicon dioxide), calcium sulfate (dehydrated gypsum), calcium oxide (calcined lime), synthetic molecular sieves (porous crystalline aluminosilicates), and dried clay.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary
Copyright © 2002. Published by Houghton Mifflin. All rights reserved.
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