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Webster 1913 Edition


Soap

Soap

,
Noun.
[OE.
sope
, AS.
sāpe
; akin to D.
zeep
, G.
seife
, OHG.
seifa
, Icel.
sāpa
, Sw.
s[GREEK]pa
, Dan.
s[GREEK]be
, and perhaps to AS.
sīpan
to drip, MHG.
sīfen
, and L.
sebum
tallow. Cf.
Saponaceous
.]
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.
☞ In general, soaps are of two classes, hard and soft. Calcium, magnesium, lead, etc., form soaps, but they are insoluble and useless.
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.)
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.
Soap cerate
,
a cerate formed of soap, olive oil, white wax, and the subacetate of lead, sometimes used as an application to allay inflammation.
Soap fat
,
the refuse fat of kitchens, slaughter houses, etc., used in making soap.
Soap liniment
(Med.)
,
a liniment containing soap, camphor, and alcohol.
Soap nut
,
the hard kernel or seed of the fruit of the soapberry tree, – used for making beads, buttons, etc.
Soap plant
(Bot.)
,
one of several plants used in the place of soap, as the
Chlorogalum pomeridianum
, a California plant, the bulb of which, when stripped of its husk and rubbed on wet clothes, makes a thick lather, and smells not unlike new brown soap. It is called also
soap apple
,
soap bulb
, and
soap weed
.
Soap tree
.
(Bot.)
Same as
Soapberry tree
.
Soda soap
,
a soap containing a sodium salt. The soda soaps are all hard soaps.
Soft soap
,
a soap of a gray or brownish yellow color, and of a slimy, jellylike consistence, made from potash or the lye from wood ashes. It is strongly alkaline and often contains glycerin, and is used in scouring wood, in cleansing linen, in dyehouses, etc. Figuratively, flattery; wheedling; blarney.
[Colloq.]
Toilet soap
,
hard soap for the toilet, usually colored and perfumed.

Soap

,
Verb.
T.
[
imp. & p. p.
Soaped
;
p. pr. & vb. n.
Soaping
.]
1.
To rub or wash over with soap.
2.
To flatter; to wheedle.
[Slang]

Webster 1828 Edition


Soap

SOAP

,
Noun.
[L. sapo.] A compound of oil and alkali, or oil and earth, and metallic oxyds; usually, a compound of oil and vegetable alkali or lye; used in washing and cleansing, in medicine, &c.

Definition 2022


Soap

Soap

See also: soap and SOAP

German

Noun

Soap f

  1. soap opera, soap

soap

soap

See also: Soap and SOAP

English

Bars of soap

Alternative forms

Noun

soap (countable and uncountable, plural soaps)

  1. (uncountable) a substance able to mix with both oil and water, used for cleaning, often in the form of a solid bar or in liquid form, derived from fats or made synthetically
    I tried washing my hands with soap, but the stain wouldn't go away.
  2. (chemistry) a metallic salt derived from a fatty acid
  3. a flattery or excessively complacent conversation
  4. (slang) money, specially when used for bribing purposes
  5. (countable, informal) Short for soap opera.
  6. (countable, informal) Short for soaper.

References

Derived terms

See also

Translations

Verb

soap (third-person singular simple present soaps, present participle soaping, simple past and past participle soaped)

  1. (transitive) To apply soap to in washing.
    Be sure to soap yourself well before rinsing.
  2. (transitive, informal) To cover, lather or in any other form treat with soap, often as a prank.
    Those kids soaped my windows!
  3. (transitive, informal) To be discreet about (a topic).
  4. (slang, dated) To flatter; to wheedle.

Synonyms

Translations

Related terms

See also

Anagrams


Dutch

Pronunciation

Etymology

Borrowing from English soap.

Noun

soap f (plural soaps, diminutive soapje n)

  1. soap opera, soap

Anagrams


French

Etymology

Borrowing from English soap.

Noun

soap m (plural soaps)

  1. soap opera, soap

Anagrams