|1.||See also detergent a cleaning or emulsifying agent made by reacting animal or vegetable fats or oils with potassium or sodium hydroxide. Soaps often contain colouring matter and perfume and act by emulsifying grease and lowering the surface tension of water, so that it more readily penetrates open materials such as textilesRelated: saponaceous|
|2.||See also metallic soap any metallic salt of a fatty acid, such as palmitic or stearic acid|
|3.||slang flattery or persuasive talk (esp in the phrase soft soap)|
|4.||informal short for soap opera|
|5.||slang (US), (Canadian) money, esp for bribery|
|6.||slang (US), (Canadian) no soap not possible or successful|
|—vb (often foll by up)|
|7.||(tr) to apply soap to|
|a. to flatter or talk persuasively to|
|b. (US), (Canadian) to bribe|
|[Old English sāpe; related to Old High German seipfa, Old French savon, Latin sāpō]|
A cleansing agent made from a mixture of the sodium salts of various fatty acids of natural oils and fats.
A metallic salt of a fatty acid, as of aluminum or iron.
|soap (sōp) Pronunciation Key
A substance used for washing or cleaning, consisting of a mixture of sodium or potassium salts of naturally occurring fatty acids. Like detergents, soaps work by surrounding particles of grease or dirt with their molecules, thereby allowing them to be carried away. Unlike detergents, soaps react with the minerals common in most water, forming an insoluble film that remains on fabrics. For this reason soap is not as efficient a cleaner as most detergents. The film is also what causes rings to form in bathtubs. Compare detergent.
(Jer. 2:22; Mal. 3:2; Heb. borith), properly a vegetable alkali, obtained from the ashes of certain plants, particularly the salsola kali (saltwort), which abounds on the shores of the Dead Sea and of the Mediterranean. It does not appear that the Hebrews were acquainted with what is now called "soap," which is a compound of alkaline carbonates with oleaginous matter. The word "purely" in Isa. 1:25 (R.V., "throughly;" marg., "as with lye") is lit. "as with _bor_." This word means "clearness," and hence also that which makes clear, or pure, alkali. "The ancients made use of alkali mingled with oil, instead of soap (Job 9:30), and also in smelting metals, to make them melt and flow more readily and purely" (Gesenius).