Hydrophile, from the Greek (hydros) "water" and (philia) "friendship," refers to a physical property of a molecule that can transiently bond with water (H2O) through hydrogen bonding. This is thermodynamically favorable, and makes these molecules soluble not only in water, but also in other polar solvents.

A hydrophilic molecule or portion of a molecule is one that is typically charge-polarized and capable of hydrogen bonding, enabling it to dissolve more readily in water than in oil or other hydrophobic solvents. Hydrophilic and hydrophobic molecules are also known as polar molecules and nonpolar molecules, respectively.


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