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[lik-wid] /ˈlɪk wɪd/
composed of molecules that move freely among themselves but do not tend to separate like those of gases; neither gaseous nor solid.
of, relating to, or consisting of liquids:
a liquid diet.
flowing like water.
clear, transparent, or bright:
liquid eyes.
(of sounds, tones, etc.) smooth; agreeable; flowing freely:
the liquid voice of a trained orator.
in cash or readily convertible into cash without significant loss of principal:
liquid assets.
Phonetics. characterizing a frictionless speech sound pronounced with only a partial obstruction of the breath stream and whose utterance can be prolonged as that of a vowel, especially l and r.
(of movements, gestures, etc.) graceful; smooth; free and unconstricted:
the ballerina's liquid arabesques.
a liquid substance.
Phonetics. either r or l, and sometimes m, n, ng.
Origin of liquid
1350-1400; Middle English liquyd < Latin liquidus, equivalent to liqu(ēre) to be liquid + -idus -id4
Related forms
liquidly, adverb
liquidness, noun
nonliquid, adjective, noun
nonliquidly, adverb
unliquid, adjective
Can be confused
fluid, gas, liquid (see synonym study at the current entry)
1. Liquid, fluid agree in referring to matter that is not solid. Liquid commonly refers to substances, as water, oil, alcohol, and the like, that are neither solids nor gases: Water ceases to be a liquid when it is frozen or turned to steam. Fluid is applied to anything that flows, whether liquid or gaseous: Pipes can carry fluids from place to place. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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British Dictionary definitions for liquid


a substance in a physical state in which it does not resist change of shape but does resist change of size Compare gas (sense 1), solid (sense 1)
a substance that is a liquid at room temperature and atmospheric pressure
(phonetics) a frictionless continuant, esp (l) or (r)
of, concerned with, or being a liquid or having the characteristic state of liquids: liquid wax
shining, transparent, or brilliant
flowing, fluent, or smooth
(of assets) in the form of money or easily convertible into money
Derived Forms
liquidly, adverb
liquidness, noun
Word Origin
C14: via Old French from Latin liquidus, from liquēre to be fluid
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 liquid

late 14c., from Old French liquide "liquid, running," from Latin liquidus "fluid, liquid, moist," figuratively "flowing, continuing," from liquere "be fluid," related to liqui "to melt, flow," from PIE *wleik- "to flow, run." Of sounds, from 1630s (the Latin word also was used of sounds). Financial sense of "capable of being converted to cash" is first recorded 1818.


"a liquid substance," 1709, from liquid (adj.). Earlier it meant "sound of a liquid consonant" (1520s).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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liquid in Medicine

liquid liq·uid (lĭk'wĭd)

  1. The state of matter in which a substance exhibits a characteristic readiness to flow, little or no tendency to disperse, and relatively high incompressibility.

  2. Matter or a specific body of matter in this state.

  1. Of or being a liquid.

  2. Having been liquefied, especially melted by heating or condensed by cooling.

  3. Flowing readily; fluid.

liq'uid·ly adv.
liq'uid·ness n.
The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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liquid in Science
One of four main states of matter, composed of molecules that can move about in a substance but are bound loosely together by intramolecular forces. Unlike a solid, a liquid has no fixed shape, but instead has a characteristic readiness to flow and therefore takes on the shape of any container. Because pressure transmitted at one point is passed on to other points, a liquid usually has a volume that remains constant or changes only slightly under pressure, unlike a gas.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary
Copyright © 2002. Published by Houghton Mifflin. All rights reserved.
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liquid in Culture

liquid definition

A phase of matter in which atoms or molecules can move freely while remaining in contact with one another. A liquid takes the shape of its container. (Compare gas and solid.)

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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