Can “wet” be used for liquids other than water?

Wet can be used to describe being dowsed in liquids such as beer, milk, juice, urine etc. All of these, however, are water-based. Can wet be used for a liquid that has no water? Can you be wet by mercury? Or liquid nitrogen?

I know I wouldn’t use it for mercury, but that may be because mercury would not actually stick to anything it was splashed on so it wouldn’t even look wet. I could live with drenched, dowsed, or immersed but wet? Does wet really imply water or is it just that we tend to get splashed by water-based liquids and so the word is most often associated with water?

This definition states

consisting of, containing, covered with, or soaked with liquid (as water)

What do you think, would anyone use wet for something completely unrelated to water?


Technically speaking


Wetting is the ability of a liquid to maintain contact with a solid surface, resulting from intermolecular interactions when the two are brought together. The degree of wetting (wettability) is determined by a force balance between adhesive and cohesive forces.

No need for the liquid to be water:

Trifluoromethanesulfonic acid wets Teflon but water‐monohydrate
mixtures containing less than 60% of the monohydrate exhibit high
contact angles with Teflon.

Source : Link , Question Author : terdon , Answer Author : Wayfaring Stranger

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