August 15, 2012
hydrofoil (noun)
\HYE-druh-foil\ Hear it!
What does it mean?
: a boat that has fins attached to the bottom by braces for lifting the hull clear of the water to allow faster speeds
How do you use it?
The first efficient hydrofoil ship was built in Italy about 100 years ago, but hydrofoils were not widely used until the 1950s, when military and commercial models were built.
Are you a word wiz?

"Hydro-," meaning "water," is a prefix used in "hydrofoil" and a bunch of other English words. We've listed some other "hydro-" words here, but one of them isn't real. Which of the following do you think is NOT a real "hydro-" word?

Answer B, "hydrosynthesis," is the made-up word. The others are all real. "Hydroelectric" means "of or relating to production of electricity by waterpower," as in "a hydroelectric dam." A hydroplane is either a speedboat whose hull is completely or partly out of the water as it skims the water, or a seaplane, which is an airplane designed to take off from and land on the water. Hydrophobia is an abnormal fear of water; the word is also another name for the disease rabies.
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