humectant

[hyoo-mek-tuhnt or, often, yoo-]
noun
1.
a substance that absorbs or helps another substance retain moisture, as glycerol.
adjective
2.
moistening; diluting.
3.
of or pertaining to a humectant or humectants.

Origin:
1650–60; < Latin hūmectant- (stem of (h)ūmectāns), present participle of (h)ūmectāre to moisten, equivalent to (h)ūmect(us) moist, damp (see humid) + -ant- -ant

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World English Dictionary
humectant (hjuːˈmɛktənt)
 
adj
1.  producing moisture
 
n
2.  a substance added to another substance to keep it moist
 
[C17: from Latin ūmectāre to wet, from ūmēre to be moist, from ūmor moisture; see humour]

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Example sentences
Fabric softeners work by coating your laundry with lubricant and humectant chemicals.
DG is used as a solvent and as a humectant in many products.
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