Soap

Definition of Soap

n.1.A substance which dissolves in water, thus forming a lather, and is used as a cleansing agent. Soap is produced by combining fats or oils with alkalies or alkaline earths, usually by boiling, and consists of salts of sodium, potassium, etc., with the fatty acids (oleic, stearic, palmitic, etc.). See the Note below, and cf. Saponification. By extension, any compound of similar composition or properties, whether used as a cleaning agent or not.
The purifying action of soap depends upon the fact that it is decomposed by a large quantity of water into free alkali and an insoluble acid salt. The first of these takes away the fatty dirt on washing, and the latter forms the soap lather which envelops the greasy matter and thus tends to remove it.
- Roscoe & Schorlemmer.
Castile soap
a fine-grained hard soap, white or mottled, made of olive oil and soda; - called also Marseilles soap or Venetian soap.
Hard soap
any one of a great variety of soaps, of different ingredients and color, which are hard and compact. All solid soaps are of this class.
Lead soap
an insoluble, white, pliable soap made by saponifying an oil (olive oil) with lead oxide; - used externally in medicine. Called also lead plaster, diachylon, etc.
Marine soap
See under Marine.
Pills of soap
(Med.) pills containing soap and opium.
Potash soap
any soap made with potash, esp. the soft soaps, and a hard soap made from potash and castor oil.
Pumice soap
any hard soap charged with a gritty powder, as silica, alumina, powdered pumice, etc., which assists mechanically in the removal of dirt.
Resin soap
a yellow soap containing resin, - used in bleaching.
Silicated soap
a cheap soap containing water glass (sodium silicate).
Soap bark
(Bot.) See Quillaia bark.
Soap bubble
a hollow iridescent globe, formed by blowing a film of soap suds from a pipe; figuratively, something attractive, but extremely unsubstantial.
This soap bubble of the metaphysicians.
- J. C. Shairp.
v. t.1.To rub or wash over with soap.
[imp. & p. p. Soaped ; p. pr. & vb. n. Soaping.]
2.To flatter; to wheedle.

Related Words

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