noun, plural hydrolyses [hahy-drol-uh-seez] .
chemical decomposition in which a compound is split into other compounds by reacting with water.

1875–80; hydro-1 + -lysis

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World English Dictionary
hydrolysis (haɪˈdrɒlɪsɪs)
a chemical reaction in which a compound reacts with water to produce other compounds

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Word Origin & History

1880, formed in Eng. from hydro-, comb. form of Gk. hydor "water" (see water (n.1)) + lysis "a loosening, a dissolution," from lyein "to loosen, dissolve" (see lose).
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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American Heritage
Medical Dictionary

hydrolysis hy·drol·y·sis (hī-drŏl'ĭ-sĭs)
Decomposition of a chemical compound by reaction with water, such as the dissociation of a dissolved salt or the catalytic conversion of starch to glucose.

hy'dro·lyt'ic (-drə-lĭt'ĭk) adj.
hy'dro·lyze' (-drə-līz) v.
The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary
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American Heritage
Science Dictionary
hydrolysis   (hī-drŏl'ĭ-sĭs)  Pronunciation Key 
The breaking down of a chemical compound into two or more simpler compounds by reacting with water. The proteins, fats, and complex carbohydrates in food are broken down in the body by hydrolysis that is catalyzed by enzymes in the digestive tract.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary
Copyright © 2002. Published by Houghton Mifflin. All rights reserved.
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Example sentences
Water can also be split into hydrogen using electricity, in a process known as hydrolysis.
The hydrolysis of cellulose is made via several enzymes named cellulases.
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