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From Latin dēsiccāre (to dry completely, dry up) +‎ -ate (verb suffix indicating acting in the specified manner).[1] Dēsiccāre is derived from dēsiccō (to dessicate, dry up; to drain dry) (from dē- (prefix meaning ‘completely, to exhaustion’) + siccō (to dry; to drain, exhaust), from siccus (dry), from Proto-Indo-European *seyk-) + -āre.

The adjective is derived from Latin dēsiccātus (dried up),[2] the perfect passive participle of dēsiccō: see above. The noun is derived from the adjective.[3]



desiccate (third-person singular simple present desiccates, present participle desiccating, simple past and past participle desiccated)

  1. (transitive) To remove moisture from; to dry. [from late 16th c.]
    Synonyms: dehydrate, exiccate (obsolete), exsiccate, parch
    Antonyms: hydrate, moisten, moisturize, wet
    • 1627, [Francis Bacon], “IX. Century. [Experiment Solitary Touching the Two Kinds of Pneumaticals in Bodies.]”, in Sylua Syluarum: Or A Naturall Historie: In Ten Centuries. [], London: Published after the authors death, by VVilliam Rawley; printed by I[ohn] H[aviland and Augustine Mathewes] for William Lee [], OCLC 1044242069; 3rd edition, London: Published [] by VVilliam Rawley; printed by J[ohn] H[aviland] for William Lee [], 1631, OCLC 1044372886, paragraph 842, page 215:
      [] As in Bodies deſsiccate, by Heat, or Age; For in them, when the Natiue Spirit goeth forth, and the Moiſture with it, the Aire with time getteth into the Pores.
  2. (transitive) To preserve by drying. [from late 16th c.]
  3. (intransitive, rare) To become dry; to dry up.

Derived terms[edit]

Terms derived from dessicate (verb)

Related terms[edit]

Terms related to dessicate (verb)


The translations below need to be checked and inserted above into the appropriate translation tables, removing any numbers. Numbers do not necessarily match those in definitions. See instructions at Wiktionary:Entry layout#Translations.


desiccate (comparative more desiccate, superlative most desiccate)

  1. Having had moisture removed; dehydrated, dessicated.
    Synonym: dried



desiccate (plural desiccates)

  1. A substance which has been dessicated, that is, had its moisture removed.



Further reading[edit]




  1. second-person plural present active imperative of dēsiccō