• synonyms


[hahy-draw-lik, -drol-ik]
  1. operated by, moved by, or employing water or other liquids in motion.
  2. operated by the pressure created by forcing water, oil, or another liquid through a comparatively narrow pipe or orifice.
  3. of or relating to water or other liquids in motion.
  4. of or relating to hydraulics.
  5. hardening under water, as a cement.
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Origin of hydraulic

1620–30; < Latin hydraulicus < Greek hydraulikós of a water organ. See hydraulus, -ic
Related formshy·drau·li·cal·ly, adverbnon·hy·drau·lic, adjectiveun·hy·drau·lic, adjective
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for hydraulically

Historical Examples of hydraulically

  • It is hydraulically operated and can be moved in any desired direction.

    The Wonder Book of Knowledge


  • With the motors retracted it was next to impossible to get to them, past their hydraulically operated booms and actuators.

    Tight Squeeze

    Dean Charles Ing

  • In these establishments, hydraulically worked from the river, cloths of cheap character for native clothing are made.

  • The platforms at either end are hydraulically raised or lowered, according to the state of the tide, to the level of the ferry.

    Forty Thousand Miles Over Land and Water

    Lady (Ethel Gwendoline [Moffatt]) Vincent

British Dictionary definitions for hydraulically


  1. operated by pressure transmitted through a pipe by a liquid, such as water or oil
  2. of, concerned with, or employing liquids in motion
  3. of or concerned with hydraulics
  4. hardening under waterhydraulic cement
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Derived Formshydraulically, adverb

Word Origin for hydraulic

C17: from Latin hydraulicus of a water organ, from Greek hudraulikos, from hudraulos water organ, from hydro- + aulos pipe, reed instrument
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

Word Origin and History for hydraulically



c.1600, from Greek hydraulikos organon "water organ," from hydr-, stem of hydor "water" (see water (n.1)) + aulos "musical instrument, hollow tube" (see alveolus). Extended by the Romans to other kinds of water engines.

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

hydraulically in Science


  1. Operated by the pressure of water or other liquids. Hydraulic systems, such as hydraulic brakes, allow mechanical force to be transferred along curved paths (through pipes or tubes) that would be difficult for solid mechanisms, such as levers or cables, to negotiate efficiently.
  2. Relating to hydraulics.
  3. Capable of hardening under water, as cement.
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The American Heritage® Science Dictionary Copyright © 2011. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.

hydraulically in Culture


A descriptive term for a system operated or moved by a fluid. The hydraulic jack, in which force is transmitted from a handle by means of a heavy oil, is probably the most familiar hydraulic device.

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The New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.