Word of the Day: Deliquesce
1 : to dissolve or melt away
2 : to become soft or liquid with age or maturity—used of some fungal structures (as the gills of a mushroom); to become liquid by absorbing moisture from the air
“‘Number Nine,’ a 16-minute bonbon of a ballet …, keeps its yellow-clad ensemble and four principal couples wheeling through kaleidoscopic patterns that surprise as they smoothly crystallize and deliquesce, sometimes matching the musical rhythms, sometimes working against them.” — Roslyn Sulcas, The New York Times, 26 Sept. 2012
“But wait. If you have the brisket, will there be room for the beef rib? There’d better be, because it is a triumph. The salt-and-pepper-coated smoked meat and fat deliquesce into a sort of beef confit.” — Mark Vamos, The Dallas Morning News, 25 Dec. 2015
Did You Know?
Deliquesce derives from the prefix de- (“from, down, away”) and a form of the Latin verbliquēre, meaning “to be fluid.” Things that deliquesce, it could be said, turn to mush in more ways than one. In scientific contexts, a substance that deliquesces absorbs moisture from the atmosphere until it dissolves in the absorbed water and forms a solution. When plants and fungi deliquesce, they lose rigidity as they age. When deliquesce is used in non-scientific contexts, it is often in a figurative or humorous way to suggest the act of “melting away” under exhaustion, heat, or idleness, as in “teenagers deliquescing in 90-degree temperatures.”
An engaging word, and I like it. I also found one other definition of the word, which, I added to this post. In searching for related images, I found several, which surprised me. Of course, the one I wanted to use, I could not. It included naked tits which FB frowns on, despite the fact that it was a work of art rather than a photograph. Alternatively, I included one that is sure to depict the meaning of the word.
The trouble is, I don’t know how I would use it in everyday life or my writings. As I write this post, I have figured out some possible uses. I’ll work on it. How would you use it? Perhaps you can give me some ideas.
p.s. To see the photo I wanted to use, share this page using the Twitter icons on this page. Ain’t life great?
Word of the Day brought to you by Merriam-Webster.