Definition of desiccate in US English:



[with object]
  • 1usually as adjective desiccatedRemove the moisture from (something, especially food), typically in order to preserve it.

    ‘desiccated coconut’
    • ‘Cultures were desiccated and held at 5% relative humidity for 2 weeks as previously described.’
    • ‘Terrestrial amphibians face a challenge analogous to that of marine intertidal animals, in that they are highly permeable animals in a potentially desiccating environment.’
    • ‘The absence of the vaporization effect is complemented by the fact that APC desiccates the tissue, thus preventing hazardous perforations.’
    • ‘The time of exposure to N 2 gas was limited because of concerns of desiccating the surrounding tissues.’
    • ‘Generally, these eggs were almost hollow, and the remaining contents were desiccated.’
    • ‘These events may need to occur within a fixed time period under the high temperature and low moisture conditions of the desert since high temperatures and low moisture will eventually desiccate detached stem segments.’
    • ‘Flipping through this magazine, it's hard to believe there once was a day when athletes' kitchens were stocked with just eggs and desiccated liver.’
    • ‘Referred to as ‘poison-winds,’ these northers could quickly desiccate crops and even kill small birds.’
    • ‘So every summer, as the sun dries and desiccates the white-hot plains of India, a stream of pilgrims leave their farms and villages, pack their belongings into bound-up cloths, and plod their way up to Hardwar, where they bathe in the river.’
    • ‘There are 2.5 billion mummified, skinned, pressed, pinned, stained, frozen, pickled, skeletal-bleached, and desiccated dead specimens of species worldwide.’
    • ‘A portion of each shoot was desiccated and preserved in silica crystals.’
    • ‘This drying technique involves the use of an absorbent which desiccates the rose by transferring the moisture from the petals to another medium.’
    • ‘Larger cherry angiomas may be easier to treat by shaving them first and then electrocoagulating or desiccating the base.’
    • ‘When the tide is low, terrestrial conditions can heat and desiccate organisms beyond their tolerances.’
    • ‘If, instead of injecting material from an infected rabbit to an uninfected rabbit directly, they desiccated the material first and waited a period of days, the virulence of the disease declined rapidly.’
    • ‘It is important to uproot and desiccate these weeds thoroughly, because burying them in the loose dry soil is not very effective (unless they are buried quite deeply).’
    • ‘Each individual replicate was desiccated separately in its own sterile jar containing a single plastic float above the saturated salt solution.’
    • ‘You have trays of dried chillies, raisins, desiccated coconut, crumbling curry leaves and chewy mango bar.’
    • ‘The taut skin of these desiccated animals feels smooth under the hand and hard, like water-polished stone.’
    • ‘Hydrated and desiccated leaves were prepared using conventional and freeze-substitution techniques, respectively.’
    dried, dried up, dry, dehydrated, powdered
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  • 2as adjective desiccatedLacking interest, passion, or energy.

    ‘a desiccated history of ideas’
    • ‘‘The siren call of this beach,’ he writes, ‘has little to do with facts or common sense or the desiccated footnotes of academics.’’
    • ‘I note that ‘liberal’ implies freedom, and this desiccated sanctimony is no fun at all.’
    • ‘What a mountain of desiccated art: unlovely, unsexy, and ultimately claustrophobic.’
    • ‘Despite all the gadgets to lighten his work, he leaves his office with a dull and desiccated mind.’
    • ‘Doesn't this build respect for others, not in the desiccated sense of school room lectures about morality, but in reality?’
    • ‘They offer very similar versions of desiccated managerialism: limited vision with qualified aspirations.’
    • ‘Tax cuts are about far more than number crunching and desiccated calculations.’
    • ‘They dug up some new material, but he felt it was a desiccated way of approaching the subject.’
    • ‘Once again, is not the question of whether economic theory governs all human action, or only a more narrowly delimited class of rational action, exactly the sort of desiccated abstraction that repels many potential readers?’
    • ‘Not so many years ago, I believed that when love was at stake, dignity was a failure of the heart - the booby prize for the old, whose imaginations rattled in the wind, desiccated of all passion.’
    • ‘If there is to be a scientific Prometheus for our day, he must bring the fire of meaning into our various theoretical languages - languages that, in their current desiccated state, are like dry tinder eager for the blaze.’
    • ‘But in the years before this, the sands of truth and error were shifting, particularly in the embattled city of Paris, where the 84-year-old French master has set his uncompromisingly austere and desiccated new film.’
    • ‘In place of passionate political arguments we have a desiccated debate on the euro polarised between technocratic proponents and emotional opponents.’
    • ‘His disenchantment is wan, taking the form of desiccated sentiment, not grotesquerie.’
    • ‘Far from encouraging them to enjoy great literature, to respond with passion and enthusiasm to the ideas of playwrights or poets, they will have to be coached instead in the merits of desiccated jargon and checklist thinking.’
    dull, boring, lacking in vitality, spiritless, lifeless, soulless, wooden, dry, desiccated, flat, uninspired, unimpassioned, insipid, lacklustre, colourless, anaemic, bloodless, vapid
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Late 16th century: from Latin desiccat- ‘made thoroughly dry’, from the verb desiccare.