Will "soggy" only be used when a food item is wet that liquid is dripping from it or can it be used when it loses its crunch due to moisture?

Like chips kept in open catch moisture and lose their crunch. So can it be :

It has gone soggy.

It has gone moist.

What will be a natural way to describe that?

What about a cookie kept in open? Does it "go soggy" Or does it "go moist"?

In my country we have "Parathas" (Stuffed flatbread), which catches moisture and goes kind of moist? (Can it be called "soggy"?)


If you're describing bread, cake, biscuits, cereral getting old, they go stale. Cake and bread go hard when stale, biscuits and crisps go soft.

Moist is normally a positive word for humid, describing cake or some kinds of bread when they have some of their ingredients' liquid inherently in them, such as steam in freshly baked bread or a rich cake. Foods do not normally "go moist", they "stay moist".

Soggy is normally a negative word for "holding liquid", such as if you drip some liquid on bread. A food must be a bit like a sponge to be soggy, if you drop a carrot into water it's just wet.


A paratha goes hard when stale. Naan bread is moist when freshly baked. If you leave them in dal for too long they go soggy.


Soggy means "wet and soft" (according to Google and Oxford). It doesn't say anything about the dripping status.

Soggy comes from sog which is an old word that means swamp. Cereal isn't "swamped" with liquid until it's been sitting in the liquid for some time and is no longer crunchy.

A good word to use if something is covered with so much liquid that it's dripping, regardless of the time spent in the liquid, is soaked.

Soggy really can't be used unless liquid was added somehow - from rain, from someone adding liquid and leaving it out, etc. Chips that lose their crunch are soft or stale and not soggy.

In my country we have "Parathas" (Stuffed flatbread), which catches moisture and goes kind of moist? (Can it be called "soggy"?)

Not unless it's floating in liquid and soft to the point where it falls apart when you lift it. You can say the bread soaks up moisture and becomes soft. Soggy is generally a negative term so it's not usually applied to things you want to eat.

  • There's probably wide variation between different types of "Parathas", but I know used to complain that a certain brand I was fond of was much better heated under a hot grill element. Heating them in the microwave was much quicker and easier - but so far as I was concerned, those microwaved parathas were definitely what I'd call soggy. Not really to do with excess added water - just that the expected / desired crispness was absent. Jun 21 '19 at 12:44
  • So @FumbleFingers does "soggy" sound okay to you with "parathas"? (They aren't hard, like when they're saran wrapped, they becomes a little wet, so will it be referred to as "soggy"?) Jun 21 '19 at 12:56
  • So what do you think @FumbleFingers? Jun 21 '19 at 13:13
  • @It'saboutEnglish: I think the full OED (mostly subscription-only, but I've just consulted it through my public library card access) is a bit behind the times. All relevant definitions for soggy include reference to wetness, moisture, but see this NGram showing US/UK results for soggy chips... Jun 21 '19 at 16:17
  • ...where UK "chips" = US "fries". Brits often complain about soggy / flabby / greasy fried potato chips (from the local Fish & Chips takeaway), which isn't so much to do with excess moisture - it's more a matter of lacking crispness. Jun 21 '19 at 16:20

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