English Dictionary

Pioneers in dictionary publishing since 1819

desiccation (ˌdesɪˈkeɪʃən) 



  1. (formal) the process or state of becoming completely dried up   ⇒ the disastrous consequences of the desiccation of the wetland   ⇒ the catastrophic desiccation of the Aral Sea   ⇒ Tests have shown that the virus can survive freeze-drying and desiccation.

desiccate (ˈdɛsɪˌkeɪt Pronunciation for desiccate



  1. (transitive) to remove most of the water from (a substance or material); dehydrate
  2. (transitive) to preserve (food) by removing moisture; dry
  3. (intransitive) to become dried up

Derived Forms

ˌdesicˈcation noun
ˈdesiccative adjective

Word Origin

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

Example Sentences Including 'desiccation'

Harry turned to leave, feeling as if the desiccation process had already begun.
Dobbs, Michael Wall Games
I like to take them now, as this year's growth is beginning to harden, which makes the cuttings tougher and less prone to desiccation.
Times, Sunday Times (2002)
To avoid instant desiccation , they pack all newly excavated items into containers which match the moisture levels of the soil.
New Scientist (2003)
Water and feed to encourage rapid growth and prevent desiccation.
Forsythe, Trevor G Successful Organic Pest Control


Log in to comment on this word.