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[hahy-gruh-skop-ik] /ˌhaɪ grəˈskɒp ɪk/
absorbing or attracting moisture from the air.
1765-75; hygroscope + -ic
Related forms
hygroscopically, adverb
[hahy-gruh-skoh-pis-i-tee] /ˌhaɪ grə skoʊˈpɪs ɪ ti/ (Show IPA),
nonhygroscopic, adjective
nonhygroscopically, adverb Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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Examples from the web for hygroscopic
  • The other main disadvantages are that it evaporates and is hygroscopic.
  • Remember, the reason that ethanol can't be sent via pipeline is because it's too hygroscopic and would take on too much water.
  • It was a hygroscopic gel, broken up into little pieces and provided as a dry powder.
  • These crystals are typically hygroscopic requiring air-tight housing for handling and their fabrication is costly.
  • Cement is hygroscopic, pulling moisture from the skin.
  • The best plasticizers for zein are hygroscopic in nature.
  • Some metals form hygroscopic salts with nitric acid that cannot be easily dried prior to their being cooled and counted.
  • hygroscopic substances absorb water well before the relative humidity reaches saturation.
  • Nicotine is a hygroscopic, oily liquid that is miscible with water in its base form.
British Dictionary definitions for hygroscopic


(of a substance) tending to absorb water from the air
Derived Forms
hygroscopically, adverb
hygroscopicity (ˌhaɪɡrəskəʊˈpɪsɪtɪ) noun
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for hygroscopic

1775, from hygroscope (1660s), from hygro- + -scope.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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hygroscopic in Medicine

hygroscopic hy·gro·scop·ic (hī'grə-skŏp'ĭk)
Readily absorbing moisture, as from the atmosphere.

The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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hygroscopic in Science
Relating to a compound that easily absorbs moisture from the atmosphere.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary
Copyright © 2002. Published by Houghton Mifflin. All rights reserved.
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