[ des-i-keyt ]
/ ˈdɛs ɪˌkeɪt /

verb (used with object), des·ic·cat·ed, des·ic·cat·ing.

to dry thoroughly; dry up.
to preserve (food) by removing moisture; dehydrate.

verb (used without object), des·ic·cat·ed, des·ic·cat·ing.

to become thoroughly dried or dried up.


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Origin of desiccate

1565–75; < Latin dēsiccātus dried up, past participle of dēsiccāre, equivalent to dē- de- + siccāre, derivative of siccus dry; see -ate1


des·ic·ca·tion, noundes·ic·ca·tive, adjective Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2020

Example sentences from the Web for desiccation

British Dictionary definitions for desiccation

/ (ˈdɛsɪˌkeɪt) /


(tr) to remove most of the water from (a substance or material); dehydrate
(tr) to preserve (food) by removing moisture; dry
(intr) to become dried up

Derived forms of desiccate

desiccation, noundesiccative, adjective

Word Origin for desiccate

C16: from Latin dēsiccāre to dry up, from de- + siccāre to dry, from siccus dry
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

Medical definitions for desiccation (1 of 2)

[ dĕs′ĭ-kāshən ]


The process of being desiccated.

Other words from desiccation

desic•ca′tive (-tĭv) adj.

Medical definitions for desiccation (2 of 2)

[ dĕsĭ-kāt′ ]


To dry thoroughly; render free from moisture.
The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.

Scientific definitions for desiccation

[ dĕsĭ-kāt′ ]

To remove the moisture from something or dry it thoroughly.♦ A desiccator is a container that removes moisture from the air within it.♦ A desiccator contains a desiccant, a substance that traps or absorbs water molecules. Some desiccants include silica gel (silicon dioxide), calcium sulfate (dehydrated gypsum), calcium oxide (calcined lime), synthetic molecular sieves (porous crystalline aluminosilicates), and dried clay.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary Copyright © 2011. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.