Dew is water in the form of droplets that appears on thin, exposed objects in the morning or evening. As the exposed surface cools by radiating its heat, atmospheric moisture condenses at a rate greater than that at which it can evaporate, resulting in the formation of water droplets.
When temperatures are low enough, dew takes the form of ice; this form is called frost (frost is, however, not frozen dew).
Because dew is related to the temperature of surfaces, in late summer it is formed most easily on surfaces which are not warmed by conducted heat from deep ground, such as grass, leaves, railings, car roofs, and bridges.
Dew should not be confused with guttation, which is the process by which plants release excess water from the tips of their leaves.
Famous quotes containing the word dew:
“In the cowslips peeps I lie,
Hidden from the buzzing fly,
While green grass beneath me lies,
Pearled wi dew like fishes eyes,
Here I lye, a clock-a-clay,
Waiting for the time o day.”
—John Clare (17931864)
“We should be blessed if we lived in the present always, and took advantage of every accident that befell us, like the grass which confesses the influence of the slightest dew that falls on it; and did not spend our time in atoning for the neglect of past opportunities, which we call doing our duty.”
—Henry David Thoreau (18171862)
“How many women ... waste life away the prey of discontent, who might have practised as physicians, regulated a farm, managed a shop, and stood erect, supported by their own industry, instead of hanging their heads surcharged with the dew of sensibility, that consumes the beauty to which it at first gave lustre ...”
—Mary Wollstonecraft (17591797)