verb (used with object), desiccated, desiccating.
to dry thoroughly; dry up.
to preserve (food) by removing moisture; dehydrate.
verb (used without object), desiccated, desiccating.
to become thoroughly dried or dried up.

1565–75; < Latin dēsiccātus dried up, past participle of dēsiccāre, equivalent to dē- de- + siccāre, derivative of siccus dry; see -ate1

desiccation, noun
desiccative, adjective Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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World English Dictionary
desiccate (ˈdɛsɪˌkeɪt)
1.  (tr) to remove most of the water from (a substance or material); dehydrate
2.  (tr) to preserve (food) by removing moisture; dry
3.  (intr) to become dried up
[C16: from Latin dēsiccāre to dry up, from de- + siccāre to dry, from siccus dry]

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
2009 © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
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Word Origin & History

late 15c., from L.L. desiccationem, from L. desiccare, from de- "thoroughly" + siccare "to dry" (see siccative).

1570s, from L. desiccat-, pp. stem of desiccare "to make very dry" (see desiccation).
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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American Heritage
Medical Dictionary

desiccate des·ic·cate (děs'ĭ-kāt')
v. des·ic·cat·ed, des·ic·cat·ing, des·ic·cates
To dry thoroughly; render free from moisture.

desiccation des·ic·ca·tion (děs'ĭ-kā'shən)
The process of being desiccated.

des'ic·ca'tive (-tĭv) adj.
The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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American Heritage
Science Dictionary
desiccate   (děs'ĭ-kāt')  Pronunciation Key 
To remove the moisture from something or dry it thoroughly. ◇ A desiccator is a container that removes moisture from the air within it. ◇ A desiccator contains a desiccant, a substance that traps or absorbs water molecules. Some desiccants include silica gel (silicon dioxide), calcium sulfate (dehydrated gypsum), calcium oxide (calcined lime), synthetic molecular sieves (porous crystalline aluminosilicates), and dried clay.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary
Copyright © 2002. Published by Houghton Mifflin. All rights reserved.
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Example sentences
Desiccation by itself imperiled animals forced to come to the remaining sources of water.
Microorganisms are often preserved commercially and in the laboratory using techniques that involve desiccation.
Fluids secreted through the skin of ancestral mammals could have protected the eggs from drought and desiccation.
The heat and desiccation of sunlight strained the surface of the fossil.
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