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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. 2018.
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Examples from the Web for hydroponics
Historical Examples
  • If it wasn't for hydroponics and the Ag Culture controls, we'd be licked right now.

    This Crowded Earth Robert Bloch
  • I guess you'd say that there were a lot of jobs in the aquariums and the hydroponics gardens.

    Captives of the Flame Samuel R. Delany
  • All the sailors on the ship must have had hydroponics or its equivalent on the brain.

    Cue for Quiet Thomas L. Sherred
  • To the left lay the hydroponics tanks, and to the right, the mutants' cubicles.

    Earth Alert! Kris Neville
  • Then we made a dash for hydroponics, toward the rear of the ship.

    Let'em Breathe Space Lester del Rey
  • And I'll need Jenny to work the hydroponics, with any help she requires.

    Let'em Breathe Space Lester del Rey
  • The tomato has been widely used in experiments in solution-culture of plants, sometimes called "hydroponics."

    The Tomato Paul Work
  • Some days later, a pair of rapidly dulling wings were found on the floor of the hydroponics chamber.

    Once a Greech Evelyn E. Smith
  • Then he moved toward the entrance to hydroponics and pulled out the ship speaker mike.

    Let'em Breathe Space Lester del Rey
  • "All hands and passengers will assemble in hydroponics within five minutes," he announced.

    Let'em Breathe Space Lester del Rey
British Dictionary definitions for hydroponics


(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 hydroponics

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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hydroponics 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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hydroponics 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 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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