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The Collaborative International Dictionary

Anhydrous \An*hy"drous\, a. [Gr. ? wanting water; 'an priv. + "y`dwr water.] Destitute of water; as, anhydrous salts or acids. [1913 Webster] ||

Douglas Harper's Etymology Dictionary

"containing no water," 1819, a modern coinage from Greek an-, privative prefix (see an- (1)), + hydor "water" (see water (n.1)). Greek did have anhydros "waterless," used of arid lands or corpses that had not been given proper funeral rites.


a. 1 having little or no water 2 # (context chemistry English) having no water of crystallization


adj. without water; especially without water of crystallization [ant: hydrous]


A substance is anhydrous if it contains no water, for example, salts lacking their water of crystallisation. The way of achieving the anhydrous form differs from one substance to another.

Usage examples of "anhydrous".

I understand you to say you used anhydrous hydrocyanic or cyanhydric acid.

Whoever tried to squirt anhydrous prussic acid in my face when I left here made a second attempt later.

Inhalation of the vapor of anhydrous prussic will cause immediate death--so quickly, it is said, that scarcely any symptoms can be observed.

The re-crystallised and pure salt is used for preparing the anhydrous sulphate, which is used for detecting moisture in gases.

To this last is joined a drying-tube containing chloride of calcium and anhydrous copper sulphate.

The ignited residue is mixed with 6 or 7 grams of anhydrous sodium carbonate.

In 1976, a tank truck went off an elevated freeway, exploded and released 19 tons of anhydrous ammonia, killing seven people.

With Fabrication, she did quality control for the anhydrous production of fiberglass cables coated with iron.

A bleak, copper-colored landscape set against a deep-pink sky through which wisps of anhydrous white clouds drifted.

There were patches of anhydrous red oxide of iron in protected places upon it, such as could not have been formed upon any fraudulent object.

One wall, facing the borehole, was just a single huge pane of tough, anhydrous lunar glass.

So we both alleged a state of utter repletion, and did not solve the mystery of the contents of the cupboard,--not too luxurious, it may be conjectured, and yet kindly offered, so that we felt there was a moist filament of the social instinct running like a nerve through that exsiccated and almost anhydrous organism.

The characteristic rock is a black vitreous trachyte resembling pitchstone, but anhydrous.

A couple of drops of hydrocyanic -prussic acid-or even a tiny quantity of pharmacopocial acid, and that's only two percent of anhydrous prussic acid-and you're dead before your glass hits the floor.

The rocket plane was suspended from the bomber's wing pylon like a slim, black, stub-winged missile, crammed full of liquid oxygen and anhydrous ammonia, ready for its midair launch.