See more synonyms for hydroponics on Thesaurus.com
noun (used with a singular verb)
  1. 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 formshy·dro·pon·ic, adjectivehy·dro·pon·i·cal·ly, adverbhy·drop·o·nist [hahy-drop-uh-nist] /haɪˈdrɒp ə nɪst/, hy·dro·pon·i·cist, noun
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for hydroponics

Historical Examples of hydroponics

  • 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

British Dictionary definitions for hydroponics


  1. (functioning as singular) a method of cultivating plants by growing them in gravel, etc, through which water containing dissolved inorganic nutrient salts is pumpedAlso called: aquiculture
Derived Formshydroponic, adjectivehydroponically, adverb

Word Origin for hydroponics

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

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

hydroponics in Science


  1. 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 © 2011. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.

hydroponics in Culture



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 Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.