Soap Soap, n. [OE. sope, AS. s[=a]pe; akin to D. zeep, G. seife, OHG. seifa, Icel. s[=a]pa, Sw. s?pa, Dan. s?be, and perhaps to AS. s[=i]pan to drip, MHG. s[=i]fen, 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. [1913 Webster]

Note: In general, soaps are of two classes, hard and soft. Calcium, magnesium, lead, etc., form soaps, but they are insoluble and useless. [1913 Webster]

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. [1913 Webster]

{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. [1913 Webster]

This soap bubble of the metaphysicians. --J. C. Shairp. [1913 Webster]

{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. [1913 Webster]

The Collaborative International Dictionary of English. 2000.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • diachylon — [ djakilɔ̃ ] n. m. • 1824; emplastre dyaquilon 1314; lat. méd., du gr. dia khulôn « au moyen de sucs » ♦ Pharm. Emplâtre agglutinant employé comme résolutif. Toile enduite de diachylon. ⇒ sparadrap. ● diachylon nom masculin (grec diakilon) Au… …   Encyclopédie Universelle

  • Diachylon — (from Lat diachȳlōn, representing Gr διὰ χυλων, [a medicament] composed of juices [1]), also rendered diachylum or diaculum, was originally a kind of medicament made of the juices of several plants (thus its name), but now commonly the name for… …   Wikipedia

  • diachylon — ou diachylum (di a chi lon) s. m. Terme de pharmacie. Nom de deux emplâtres résolutifs, faits des sucs de certaines plantes. Diachylon simple. Diachylon composé ou gommé.    Toile de diachylon, ou, simplement, diachylon, toile sur laquelle on… …   Dictionnaire de la Langue Française d'Émile Littré

  • Diachylon — Di*ach y*lon, ||Diachylum Di*ach y*lum, n. [NL. diachylum, fr. Gr. ? very juicy; dia thoroughly + ? juice.] (Med. & Chem.) A plaster originally composed of the juices of several plants (whence its name), but now made of an oxide of lead and oil,… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • Diachylon — (Diachylonpslaster), einfaches u. zusammengesetztes, Bleiglättepflaster mit Baumöl …   Pierer's Universal-Lexikon

  • Diachylon — Diachylon, griech., Heftpflaster aus Oel und gepulverter Bleiglätte bestehend (Bleiseife); ein anderes besteht aus Oel u. Bleiglätte, Wachs, Ammoniakgummi, Galbanum und Terpentin, und wirkt kräftig zertheilend …   Herders Conversations-Lexikon

  • DIACHYLON — s. m. T. de Pharmacie. Emplâtre considéré comme résolutif, et dans lequel il entre des substances mucilagineuses. Diachylon simple. Diachylon composé. On écrit aussi, Diachylum (qui se prononce Diachilome ) …   Dictionnaire de l'Academie Francaise, 7eme edition (1835)

  • diachylon — /duy ak euh lon /, n. Med. an adhesive plaster consisting chiefly of litharge and oil, used in the treatment of wounds and excoriations. Also, diachylum /duy ak euh leuhm/. [1275 1325; < L < Gk diáchylon (something) made of juices, equiv. to dia… …   Universalium

  • diachylon — n. type of sticky lead plaster; lead soap …   English contemporary dictionary

  • diachylon — di·ach·y·lon …   English syllables

Share the article and excerpts

Direct link
Do a right-click on the link above
and select “Copy Link”