To remove the moisture from a thing that normally contains moisture, such as a plant; to dry out completely; to preserve by drying. The process of desiccating a thing is called desiccation; an agent used to bring about desiccation is called a desiccant or a desiccator. Manufacturers of dietary supplements and medicines desiccate some products to extend their shelf life and to maintain purity. (Moisture promotes spoilage and the growth of germs.) For example, desiccated beef liver is a dietary supplement marketed in the form of powders and tablets. Synthetic desiccated thyroid hormone is a medicine marketed in the form of pills to treat thyroid conditions such as myxedema, which can cause drowsiness, tissue swelling, tongue enlargement and other symptoms because of insufficient hormone output by the thyroid gland. Many over-the-counter (OTC) dietary products termed by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) as "inert glandular preparations" consist of desiccated animal organs, including brains, hearts, kidneys, ovaries, placentas, spleens and stomachs. FDA policy dictates that these desiccated products should not be represented as drugs or medications. "Desiccate," "desiccation," and "desiccant" are all derived from the Latin word "desiccare" (to dry completely).
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To dry thoroughly; to render free from moisture. SYN: exsiccate.

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des·ic·cate 'des-i-.kāt vb, -cat·ed; -cat·ing vt
1) to dry up or cause to dry up: deprive or exhaust of moisture esp to dry thoroughly <uses radio frequencies of 100,000 Hz to 10,000,000 Hz to cut, coagulate, and \desiccate tissue (Bettyann Hutchisson )(et al)>
2) to preserve a food by drying: DEHYDRATE <desiccated coconut> vi to become dried up: undergo a desiccating process

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des·ic·cate (desґĭ-kāt) [L. desiccare to dry up] to render thoroughly dry.

Medical dictionary. 2011.

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Look at other dictionaries:

  • Desiccate — Des ic*cate (?; 277), v. t. [imp. & p. p. {Desiccated}; p. pr. & vb. n. {Desiccating}.] [L. desiccatus, p. p. of desiccare to dry up; de + siccare to dry, siccus dry. See {Sack} wine.] To dry up; to deprive or exhaust of moisture; to preserve by… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • Desiccate — Des ic*cate, v. i. To become dry. [1913 Webster] …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • desiccate — 1570s (pp. adj. desicatt is attested from early 15c.), from L. desiccatus, pp. of desiccare to make very dry (see DESICCATION (Cf. desiccation)). Related: Desiccated; desiccating …   Etymology dictionary

  • desiccate — vb *dry, dehydrate, parch, bake …   New Dictionary of Synonyms

  • desiccate — [v] take moisture out of anhydrate, dehydrate, deplete, devitalize, divest, drain, dry, dry up, evaporate, exsiccate, parch, sear, shrivel, wither, wizen; concepts 137,250 Ant. moisten, moisturize, wet …   New thesaurus

  • desiccate — ► VERB (usu. desiccated) ▪ remove the moisture from. DERIVATIVES desiccation noun. ORIGIN Latin desiccare make thoroughly dry …   English terms dictionary

  • desiccate — [des′i kāt΄] vt. desiccated, desiccating [< L desiccatus, pp. of desiccare, to dry up completely < de , intens. + siccare, to dry < siccus, dry < IE base * seikw , to drip, pour out > OE seon, to trickle, sic, small stream] 1. to… …   English World dictionary

  • desiccate — verb ( cated; cating) Etymology: Latin desiccatus, past participle of desiccare to dry up, from de + siccare to dry, from siccus dry more at sack Date: 1575 transitive verb 1. to dry up 2. to preserve (a food) by drying …   New Collegiate Dictionary

  • desiccate — v. [L. desiccare, to dry up] To dry up; a process of preserving …   Dictionary of invertebrate zoology

  • desiccate — desiccation, n. desiccative, adj. /des i kayt /, v., desiccated, desiccating. v.t. 1. to dry thoroughly; dry up. 2. to preserve (food) by removing moisture; dehydrate. v.i. 3. to become thoroughly dried or dried up. [1565 75; < L de …   Universalium

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