Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • intransitive v. To blossom; bloom.
  • intransitive v. Chemistry To become a powder by losing water of crystallization, as when a hydrated crystal is exposed to air.
  • intransitive v. Chemistry To become covered with a powdery deposit.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • v. To burst into bloom; to flower.
  • v. To change from being crystalline to being powdery by losing water of crystallization.
  • v. To become covered with powder.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • intransitive v. To blossom forth.
  • intransitive v. To change on the surface, or throughout, to a whitish, mealy, or crystalline powder, from a gradual decomposition, esp. from the loss of water, on simple exposure to the air.
  • intransitive v. To become covered with a whitish crust or light crystallization, from a slow chemical change between some of the ingredients of the matter covered and an acid proceeding commonly from an external source.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • To burst into bloom, as a plant.
  • To present an appearance of flowering or bursting into bloom; specifically, to become covered with an effiorescence; become incrusted with crystals of salt or the like.
  • In chem., to change either throughout or over the surface to a whitish, mealy, or crystalline powder, from a gradual decomposition, on simple exposure to the air; become covered with a whitish crust or light crystallization, in the form of short threads or spiculæ, from a slow chemical change between some of the ingredients of the matter covered and an acid proceeding commonly from an external source.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • v. assume crystalline form; become crystallized
  • v. become encrusted with crystals due to evaporation
  • v. come into or as if into flower

Etymologies

Latin efflōrēscere : ex-, ex- + flōrēscere, inchoative of flōrēre, to blossom (from flōs, flōr-, flower; see bhel-3 in Indo-European roots).
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)

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