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The Collaborative International Dictionary

Hydrolysis \Hy*drol"y*sis\, n. [Hydro-, 1 + -lysis.] (Chem.) A chemical process causing the splitting of a chemical bond by the addition of the elements of water. Where the bond which is split is not part of a ring structure, this process causes formation of two compounds from one compound plus water, as in the hydrolysis of the ester bonds of fats during saponification.

Douglas Harper's Etymology Dictionary

"chemical decomposition by water," 1880, formed in English from hydro- + Greek lysis "a loosening, a dissolution," from lyein "to loosen, dissolve" (see lose).


n. 1 (context chemistry English) A chemical process of decomposition involving the splitting of a bond and the addition of the hydrogen cation and the hydroxide anion of water. 2 (context biochemistry English) The degradation of certain biopolymers (proteins, complex sugars) by the chemical process that results in smaller polymers or monomers (such as amino acids or monosaccharides)


n. a chemical reaction in which water reacts with a compound to produce other compounds; involves the splitting of a bond and the addition of the hydrogen cation and the hydroxide anion from the water


Hydrolysis (; ) usually means the cleavage of chemical bonds by the addition of water. When a carbohydrate is broken into its component sugar molecules by hydrolysis (e.g. sucrose being broken down into glucose and fructose), this is termed saccharification. Generally, hydrolysis or saccharification is a step in the degradation of a substance.

Hydrolysis can be the reverse of a condensation reaction in which two molecules join together into a larger one and eject a water molecule. Thus hydrolysis adds water to break down, whereas condensation builds up by removing water.

Usage examples of "hydrolysis".

As the process of hydrolysis proceeds, the amyloins become gradually poorer in amylin and relatively richer in maltose-groups.

In former cokehead Calvin Thrust, hydrolysis had caused a priapism that led directly to his early choice of career.

Millar, are maltose and glucose, which latter is derived from the hydrolysis of the stable dextrin.

Not as easy to bleach, but the alum they used in the wood-pulp process undergoes hydrolysis and produces sulphuric acid.

In the presence of moisture, the hydrogenation and hydrolysis of body fat can lead to the formation of matter containing fatty acids and glycerol.

It allowed the polymerization of volatile reactive organics and the hydrolysis of prebiotic oligomers into biomolecules.

I got aldehydes, ketones, acetaldehyde—the results of alkyne hydrolysis.

The assertion has been made that the bark contains glucosides which yield on hydrolysis Chrysophanic acid, but the evidence on this point is conflicting.

Acid hydrolysis yields an array of racemic amino acids, both biological and non-biological, plus much urea.