The term hydrophilic describes that something 'likes water' (from Greek hydros = water; philos = friend).

A hydrophilic molecule or portion of a molecule is one that typically is electrically polarized and capable of H-bonding, enabling it dissolve more readily in water than in oil or other "non-polar" solvents.

Hydrophilic molecules can establish hydrogen bonds with water molecules (H2O). This is favourable by thermodynamics and makes these molecules soluble in water.

Compare: hydrophobic