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[hahy-druh-pon-iks] /ˌhaɪ drəˈpɒn ɪks/
noun, (used with a singular verb)
the cultivation of plants by placing the roots in liquid nutrient solutions rather than in soil; soilless growth of plants.
Compare aeroculture, geoponics (def 2).
Origin of hydroponics
First recorded in 1935-40; hydro-1 + (geo)ponics
Related forms
hydroponic, adjective
hydroponically, adverb
[hahy-drop-uh-nist] /haɪˈdrɒp ə nɪst/ (Show IPA),
hydroponicist, noun Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2017.
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Examples from the Web for hydroponic
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • Food was furnished by automatic vendors at the hydroponic Farms.

    You Too Can Be A Millionaire Noel Miller Loomis
  • "We'll take the body to the hydroponic farm for the vats," he said.

    Rebels of the Red Planet Charles Louis Fontenay
  • Otherwise, what would he want with all that air-and-water and hydroponic and carniculture stuff?

    Space Viking Henry Beam Piper
  • It was absurd—until he remembered that there was a hydroponic garden here.

    Space Tug Murray Leinster
  • If they ever caught us pulling a trick like that, they'd have us on hydroponic duty for the next five years.

    Slingshot Irving W. Lande
  • Are you people getting any fresh vegetables from the hydroponic garden?

    Space Tug Murray Leinster
  • Asteroid alabaster or hydroponic grapes and several other things, but no whiskoff that will leave your face feeling like skin.

    Tangle Hold F. L. Wallace
  • As planned, 4901 marched on and stood in the steaming shadows behind the hydroponic beds.

    The Victor Bryce Walton
British Dictionary definitions for hydroponic


(functioning as sing) a method of cultivating plants by growing them in gravel, etc, through which water containing dissolved inorganic nutrient salts is pumped Also called aquiculture
Derived Forms
hydroponic, adjective
hydroponically, adverb
Word Origin
C20: from hydro- + (geo)ponics
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 hydroponic



1937, formed in English from hydro- + -ponics, from Greek ponein "to labor, toil," from ponos "labor" (see span (v.)). Related: Hydroponic (adj.).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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hydroponic in Science
The cultivation of plants in a nutrient-rich solution, rather than in soil, and under controlled conditions of light, temperature, and humidity. Also called aquaculture.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary
Copyright © 2002. Published by Houghton Mifflin. All rights reserved.
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hydroponic in Culture
hydroponics [(heye-druh-pon-iks)]

Cultivating plants in an artificial environment in which the necessary nutrients are carried to the roots in a liquid mixture.

The American Heritage® 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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