One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
1(of a substance) lose moisture and turn to a fine powder on exposure to air.
dry, dry up, dry out, desiccate, make dry, dehumidify, remove the moisture fromView synonyms
- ‘It effloresces when exposed to warm air.’
- ‘It effloresces in dry air and loses its water of crystallisation when heated.’
- 1.1 (of salts) come to the surface of brickwork, rock, or other material and crystallize there.
- ‘These clay plains are irregularly veined in places with crystalline gypsum, and are impregnated with saliferous matter, which effloresces on the surface.’
- ‘These physical characteristics are common to several other smaller lakes which are found in this region of country, where salt is so abundant, that in many places it effloresces on the surface of the earth.’
- 1.2 (of a surface) become covered with salt particles.
- ‘Its surface effloresces readily and is covered with white powder after long exposure to the air.’
- ‘While it will not result in a quantitative amount of efflorescence present, it will indicate if the brick effloresces or not.’
2Reach an optimum stage of development.‘simple concepts that effloresce into testable conclusions’
- ‘He anticipated that these spiritual assemblies would effloresce into the house of justice.’
- ‘It starts out slow and ethereal, but when the chorus comes, it effloresces into a symphony of preternatural sound that blows you away.’
Late 18th century: from Latin efflorescere, from e- (variant of ex-) ‘out’ + florescere ‘begin to bloom’ (from florere ‘to bloom’, from flos, flor- ‘flower’).
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