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[hahy-draw-lik, -drol-ik] /haɪˈdrɔ lɪk, -ˈdrɒl ɪk/
operated by, moved by, or employing water or other liquids in motion.
operated by the pressure created by forcing water, oil, or another liquid through a comparatively narrow pipe or orifice.
of or relating to water or other liquids in motion.
of or relating to hydraulics.
hardening under water, as a cement.
Origin of hydraulic
1620-30; < Latin hydraulicus < Greek hydraulikós of a water organ. See hydraulus, -ic
Related forms
hydraulically, adverb
nonhydraulic, adjective
unhydraulic, adjective Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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British Dictionary definitions for hydraulically


operated by pressure transmitted through a pipe by a liquid, such as water or oil
of, concerned with, or employing liquids in motion
of or concerned with hydraulics
hardening under water: hydraulic cement
Derived Forms
hydraulically, adverb
Word Origin
C17: from Latin hydraulicus of a water organ, from Greek hudraulikos, from hudraulos water organ, from hydro- + aulos pipe, reed instrument
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 hydraulically



c.1600, from Greek hydraulikos organon "water organ," from hydr-, stem of hydor "water" (see water (n.1)) + aulos "musical instrument, hollow tube" (see alveolus). Extended by the Romans to other kinds of water engines.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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hydraulically in Science
  1. Operated by the pressure of water or other liquids. Hydraulic systems, such as hydraulic brakes, allow mechanical force to be transferred along curved paths (through pipes or tubes) that would be difficult for solid mechanisms, such as levers or cables, to negotiate efficiently.

  2. Relating to hydraulics.

  3. Capable of hardening under water, as cement.

The American Heritage® Science Dictionary
Copyright © 2002. Published by Houghton Mifflin. All rights reserved.
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hydraulically in Culture

hydraulic definition

A descriptive term for a system operated or moved by a fluid. The hydraulic jack, in which force is transmitted from a handle by means of a heavy oil, is probably the most familiar hydraulic device.

The New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition
Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Company.
Published by Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved.
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