Skip to main content
Select Source:

dew

dew, thin film of water that has condensed on the surface of objects near the ground. Dew forms when radiational cooling of these objects during the nighttime hours also cools the shallow layer of overlying air in contact with them, causing the condensation of some water vapor. This condensation occurs because the capacity of air to hold water vapor decreases as the air is cooled. The temperature at which condensation begins, for a sample of air with a given water vapor content, is termed the dew point. If a dew point temperature below 32°F (0°C) is reached, sublimation occurs, i.e., the water vapor converts directly to frost. Should the surface temperature drop below 32°F after the dew has already collected, the dew may freeze into so-called white dew. Most authorities account for the supply of water vapor as coming from the atmosphere, though some research suggests that it also diffuses up through the soil and then condenses on the ground surface if conditions are favorable. Dew forms most readily on those surfaces that lose heat through radiation most efficiently but are nevertheless insulated from external heat sources. Dew formation is favored by high humidity in the lowest layers of air, which either supplies the moisture or at least inhibits the evaporation of the dew already deposited. Strong winds inhibit dew formation because they mix a larger layer of air, creating a more homogeneous distribution of heat and water vapor; under such circumstances it is unlikely that a sufficiently cool and damp layer of air can form near the ground.

Cite this article
Pick a style below, and copy the text for your bibliography.

  • MLA
  • Chicago
  • APA

"dew." The Columbia Encyclopedia, 6th ed.. . Encyclopedia.com. 20 Oct. 2017 <http://www.encyclopedia.com>.

"dew." The Columbia Encyclopedia, 6th ed.. . Encyclopedia.com. (October 20, 2017). http://www.encyclopedia.com/reference/encyclopedias-almanacs-transcripts-and-maps/dew

"dew." The Columbia Encyclopedia, 6th ed.. . Retrieved October 20, 2017 from Encyclopedia.com: http://www.encyclopedia.com/reference/encyclopedias-almanacs-transcripts-and-maps/dew

dew

dew / d(y)oō/ • n. tiny drops of water that form on cool surfaces at night, when atmospheric vapor condenses: the grass was wet with dew | [in sing.] a cold, heavy dew dripped from the leaves. ∎  [in sing.] a beaded or glistening liquid resembling such drops: her body had broken out in a fine dew of perspiration. • v. [tr.] wet (a part of someone's body) with a beaded or glistening liquid: sweat dewed her lashes.

Cite this article
Pick a style below, and copy the text for your bibliography.

  • MLA
  • Chicago
  • APA

"dew." The Oxford Pocket Dictionary of Current English. . Encyclopedia.com. 20 Oct. 2017 <http://www.encyclopedia.com>.

"dew." The Oxford Pocket Dictionary of Current English. . Encyclopedia.com. (October 20, 2017). http://www.encyclopedia.com/humanities/dictionaries-thesauruses-pictures-and-press-releases/dew-2

"dew." The Oxford Pocket Dictionary of Current English. . Retrieved October 20, 2017 from Encyclopedia.com: http://www.encyclopedia.com/humanities/dictionaries-thesauruses-pictures-and-press-releases/dew-2

dew

dew OE. dēaw = OS. dau (Du. dauw), OHG. tou (G. tau), ON. dǫgg :- Gmc. *dawwaz, -am, f. the base repr. in Skr. dhāv flow, Gr. theîn run.

Cite this article
Pick a style below, and copy the text for your bibliography.

  • MLA
  • Chicago
  • APA

"dew." The Concise Oxford Dictionary of English Etymology. . Encyclopedia.com. 20 Oct. 2017 <http://www.encyclopedia.com>.

"dew." The Concise Oxford Dictionary of English Etymology. . Encyclopedia.com. (October 20, 2017). http://www.encyclopedia.com/humanities/dictionaries-thesauruses-pictures-and-press-releases/dew-3

"dew." The Concise Oxford Dictionary of English Etymology. . Retrieved October 20, 2017 from Encyclopedia.com: http://www.encyclopedia.com/humanities/dictionaries-thesauruses-pictures-and-press-releases/dew-3

dew

dew Water droplets formed, usually at night, by condensation on vegetation and other surfaces near the ground.

Cite this article
Pick a style below, and copy the text for your bibliography.

  • MLA
  • Chicago
  • APA

"dew." World Encyclopedia. . Encyclopedia.com. 20 Oct. 2017 <http://www.encyclopedia.com>.

"dew." World Encyclopedia. . Encyclopedia.com. (October 20, 2017). http://www.encyclopedia.com/environment/encyclopedias-almanacs-transcripts-and-maps/dew

"dew." World Encyclopedia. . Retrieved October 20, 2017 from Encyclopedia.com: http://www.encyclopedia.com/environment/encyclopedias-almanacs-transcripts-and-maps/dew

DEW

DEW • abbr. ∎  distant early warning.

Cite this article
Pick a style below, and copy the text for your bibliography.

  • MLA
  • Chicago
  • APA

"DEW." The Oxford Pocket Dictionary of Current English. . Encyclopedia.com. 20 Oct. 2017 <http://www.encyclopedia.com>.

"DEW." The Oxford Pocket Dictionary of Current English. . Encyclopedia.com. (October 20, 2017). http://www.encyclopedia.com/humanities/dictionaries-thesauruses-pictures-and-press-releases/dew-1

"DEW." The Oxford Pocket Dictionary of Current English. . Retrieved October 20, 2017 from Encyclopedia.com: http://www.encyclopedia.com/humanities/dictionaries-thesauruses-pictures-and-press-releases/dew-1

dew

dewaccrue, adieu, ado, anew, Anjou, aperçu, askew, ballyhoo, bamboo, bedew, bestrew, billet-doux, blew, blue, boo, boohoo, brew, buckaroo, canoe, chew, clew, clou, clue, cock-a-doodle-doo, cockatoo, construe, coo, Corfu, coup, crew, Crewe, cru, cue, déjà vu, derring-do, dew, didgeridoo, do, drew, due, endue, ensue, eschew, feu, few, flew, flu, flue, foreknew, glue, gnu, goo, grew, halloo, hereto, hew, Hindu, hitherto, how-do-you-do, hue, Hugh, hullabaloo, imbrue, imbue, jackaroo, Jew, kangaroo, Karroo, Kathmandu, kazoo, Kiangsu, knew, Kru, K2, kung fu, Lahu, Lanzhou, Lao-tzu, lasso, lieu, loo, Lou, Manchu, mangetout, mew, misconstrue, miscue, moo, moue, mu, nardoo, new, non-U, nu, ooh, outdo, outflew, outgrew, peekaboo, Peru, pew, plew, Poitou, pooh, pooh-pooh, potoroo, pursue, queue, revue, roo, roux, rue, screw, Selous, set-to, shampoo, shih-tzu, shoe, shoo, shrew, Sioux, skean dhu, skew, skidoo, slew, smew, snafu, sou, spew, sprue, stew, strew, subdue, sue, switcheroo, taboo, tattoo, thereto, thew, threw, thro, through, thru, tickety-boo, Timbuktu, tiramisu, to, to-do, too, toodle-oo, true, true-blue, tu-whit tu-whoo, two, vendue, view, vindaloo, virtu, wahoo, wallaroo, Waterloo, well-to-do, whereto, whew, who, withdrew, woo, Wu, yew, you, zoo

Cite this article
Pick a style below, and copy the text for your bibliography.

  • MLA
  • Chicago
  • APA

"dew." Oxford Dictionary of Rhymes. . Encyclopedia.com. 20 Oct. 2017 <http://www.encyclopedia.com>.

"dew." Oxford Dictionary of Rhymes. . Encyclopedia.com. (October 20, 2017). http://www.encyclopedia.com/humanities/dictionaries-thesauruses-pictures-and-press-releases/dew-0

"dew." Oxford Dictionary of Rhymes. . Retrieved October 20, 2017 from Encyclopedia.com: http://www.encyclopedia.com/humanities/dictionaries-thesauruses-pictures-and-press-releases/dew-0

DEW

DEW (djuː) directed-energy weapon
• Military distant early-warning (as in DEW line; network of radar stations)

Cite this article
Pick a style below, and copy the text for your bibliography.

  • MLA
  • Chicago
  • APA

"DEW." The Oxford Dictionary of Abbreviations. . Encyclopedia.com. 20 Oct. 2017 <http://www.encyclopedia.com>.

"DEW." The Oxford Dictionary of Abbreviations. . Encyclopedia.com. (October 20, 2017). http://www.encyclopedia.com/humanities/dictionaries-thesauruses-pictures-and-press-releases/dew

"DEW." The Oxford Dictionary of Abbreviations. . Retrieved October 20, 2017 from Encyclopedia.com: http://www.encyclopedia.com/humanities/dictionaries-thesauruses-pictures-and-press-releases/dew