• synonyms


  1. causing or promoting absorption of moisture; drying.
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  1. a siccative substance, especially in paint.
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Origin of siccative

1540–50; < Late Latin siccātīvus, equivalent to Latin siccāt(us) (past participle of siccāre to dry up; see sack3, -ate1) + -īvus -ive
Related formsan·ti·sic·ca·tive, adjectivenon·sic·ca·tive, adjective, nounun·sic·ca·tive, adjective
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for siccative

Historical Examples

  • Sulphate of zinc, as a siccative, is less powerful than acetate of lead, but is far preferable in a chemical sense.

    Field's Chromatography

    George Field

  • Hence, although the employment of lead as a siccative is not desirable, its effects are not so deleterious as might be imagined.

  • In his researches, he discovered the use of linseed and nut oil, which he found most siccative.

British Dictionary definitions for siccative


  1. a substance added to a liquid to promote drying: used in paints and some medicines
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Word Origin

C16: from Late Latin siccātīvus, from Latin siccāre to dry up, 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

Word Origin and History for siccative


1540s, from Late Latin siccativus "drying, siccative," from Latin siccatus, past participle of siccare "to dry, make dry; dry up," from siccus "dry, thirsty; without rain," from PIE root *seikw- "to flow out" (cf. Avestan hiku- "dry," Greek iskhnos "dry, withered," Lithuanian seklus "shallow," Middle Irish sesc "dry," Sanskrit sincati "makes dry"). The noun is first recorded 1825.

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

siccative in Medicine


  1. A substance added to some medicines to promote drying; a drier.
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The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.