The word hydrophobic comes from the Greek roots hydro- (meaning water) and -phobia (meaning fearing or hating). The word hydrophobic describes the fact that nonpolar substances don’t combine with water molecules. Water is a polar molecule, which means that it carries a partial charge between its atoms.Click to see full answer. In respect to this, what is an example of hydrophobic?Examples of hydrophobic molecules include the alkanes, oils, fats, and greasy substances in general. Hydrophobic materials are used for oil removal from water, the management of oil spills, and chemical separation processes to remove non-polar substances from polar compounds.Similarly, what does hydrophilic mean in biology? adjective. (chemistry) Having an affinity for water; capable of interacting with water through hydrogen bonding; hygroscopic. Supplement. Hydrophilic molecules typically have polar groups enabling them to readily absorb or dissolve in water as well as in other polar solvents. Just so, what makes something hydrophobic or hydrophilic? The Water Race: Hydrophobic & Hydrophilic Surfaces. Nonpolar molecules that repel the water molecules are said to be hydrophobic; molecules forming ionic or a hydrogen bond with the water molecule are said to be hydrophilic. This property of water was important for the evolution of life.What are hydrophobic plants?Surfaces that repel water, like the leaves of the Colocasia plant, are called hydrophobic. “Hydro-” is a Greek root word that means water.