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[hahy-drol-uh-sis] /haɪˈdrɒl ə sɪs/
noun, plural hydrolyses
[hahy-drol-uh-seez] /haɪˈdrɒl əˌsiz/ (Show IPA)
chemical decomposition in which a compound is split into other compounds by reacting with water.
Origin of hydrolysis
First recorded in 1875-80; hydro-1 + -lysis Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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Examples from the Web for hydrolysis
Historical Examples
  • What are the products of hydrolysis when stannic chloride is used as a mordant?

  • Cellobiose is a disaccharide which results from the hydrolysis of cellulose.

    The Chemistry of Plant Life Roscoe Wilfred Thatcher
  • On hydrolysis, it yields glucose, arabinose, and d-mandelo nitrile.

    The Chemistry of Plant Life Roscoe Wilfred Thatcher
  • Glycerine is also prepared from fats by hydrolysis with superheated steam.

    The Chemistry of Plant Life Roscoe Wilfred Thatcher
  • It aids in the hydrolysis of the starch for the use of the growing embryo.

    The Chemistry of Plant Life Roscoe Wilfred Thatcher
  • The products of hydrolysis of the common simple proteins are all amino-acids.

    The Chemistry of Plant Life Roscoe Wilfred Thatcher
  • It gives with iodine and sulphuric acid a blue color and with iodine zinc chloride a violet and yields dextrose on hydrolysis.

    The Fundamentals of Bacteriology Charles Bradfield Morrey
  • No special study has been made of the diastatic enzymes which bring about the hydrolysis of these substances.

    Alcoholic Fermentation Arthur Harden
  • In an acid fat there has been a hydrolysis of the fat and it has developed a rather high percentage of free acid.

    Soap-Making Manual E. G. Thomssen
  • The hydrolysis of fats and oils is accelerated when they are allowed to remain for some time in the presence of organic non-fats.

    Soap-Making Manual E. G. Thomssen
British Dictionary definitions for hydrolysis


a chemical reaction in which a compound reacts with water to produce other compounds
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 hydrolysis

"chemical decomposition by water," 1880, formed in English from hydro- + Greek lysis "a loosening, a dissolution," from lyein "to loosen, dissolve" (see lose).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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hydrolysis in Medicine

hydrolysis hy·drol·y·sis (hī-drŏl'ĭ-sĭs)
Decomposition of a chemical compound by reaction with water, such as the dissociation of a dissolved salt or the catalytic conversion of starch to glucose.

hy'dro·lyt'ic (-drə-lĭt'ĭk) adj.
hy'dro·lyze' (-drə-līz) v.
The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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hydrolysis in Science
The breaking down of a chemical compound into two or more simpler compounds by reacting with water. The proteins, fats, and complex carbohydrates in food are broken down in the body by hydrolysis that is catalyzed by enzymes in the digestive tract.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary
Copyright © 2002. Published by Houghton Mifflin. All rights reserved.
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