deliquescent

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See also: déliquescent

English[edit]

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Etymology[edit]

Latin deliquescens, present participle of deliquesco; de + liquesco (I melt): compare French déliquescent.

Adjective[edit]

deliquescent (comparative more deliquescent, superlative most deliquescent)

  1. Seeming to melt away.
    Synonyms: melting, disappearing
    • 1918, Wyndham Lewis, Tarr, London: The Egoist, Part 1, Chapter 1, p. 15,[1]
      “Any one who stands outside, who hides himself in a deliquescent aloofness, is a sneak and a spy—”
    • 1993, John Banville, Ghosts
      Yes, laugh, as I want to laugh for instance in the concert hall when the orchestra trundles to a stop and the virtuoso at his piano, hunched like a demented vet before the bared teeth of this enormous black beast of sound, lifts up deliquescent hands and prepares to plunge into the cadenza.
    • 2002, Julian Barnes, Something to Declare, New York: Knopf, Chapter 8, p. 122,[2]
      [] Manet painted him [Stéphane Mallarmé] in a boneless, deliquescent slouch;
  2. (chemistry) Absorbing moisture from the air and forming a solution.
    deliquescent salts
  3. (botany) Branching so that the stem is lost in branches, as in most deciduous trees.
    • 1850, Asa Gray, The Botanical Text-Book, New York: Putnam, 3rd edition, rewritten and enlarged, Chapter 4, p. 102,[4]
      In other cases, the main stem is arrested, sooner or later, either by flowering, by the failure of the terminal bud, or the more vigorous development of some of the lateral buds, and thus the trunk is lost in the branches, or is deliquescent, as in most of our deciduous-leaved trees.
  4. (mycology, of the fruiting body of a fungus) Becoming liquid as a phase of its life cycle.
    • 1847, Charles David Badham, A Treatise on the Esculent Funguses of England, London: Reeve Brothers, p. 51,[5]
      The spores, so soon as they are ripe, either drop out of the sporiferous membrane (hymenium), or, as more frequently happens, are projected from it with an elastic jerk, or else, as is the case of Agarics of a deliquescent kind, return to the earth mixed up with the black liquid into which these ultimately resolve themselves.

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