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saponify

[suh-pon-uh-fahy] /səˈpɒn əˌfaɪ/
verb (used with object), saponified, saponifying.
1.
to convert (a fat) into soap by treating with an alkali.
2.
to decompose (any ester), forming the corresponding alcohol and acid or salt.
verb (used without object), saponified, saponifying.
3.
to become converted into soap.
Origin
1815-1825
1815-25; < Latin sāpōn- (stem of sāpō) soap + -ify
Related forms
saponifiable, adjective
saponification, noun
saponifier, noun
nonsaponifiable, adjective
nonsaponification, noun
unsaponifiable, adjective
unsaponified, adjective
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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Examples from the web for saponification
  • Describes a reaction system experiment utilizing saponification of ethyl acetate by sodium hydroxide.
  • Much above that will mean that not all of the lye has been consumed in the saponification.
  • Direct saponification has been the preferred method for hydrolyzing samples because of cost- and time-effectiveness.
  • The making of soap that you describe is called a base-catalyzed saponification.
British Dictionary definitions for saponification

saponify

/səˈpɒnɪˌfaɪ/
verb (chem) -fies, -fying, -fied
1.
to undergo or cause to undergo a process in which a fat is converted into a soap by treatment with alkali
2.
to undergo or cause to undergo a reaction in which an ester is hydrolysed to an acid and an alcohol as a result of treatment with an alkali
Derived Forms
saponifiable, adjective
saponifier, noun
saponification, noun
Word Origin
C19: from French saponifier, from Latin sāpōsoap
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for saponification
n.

1801, from French saponification, from saponifier, from Modern Latin saponificare, from sapon- "soap" (see soap (n.)) + -ficare, from Latin facere "to make, do" (see factitious).

saponify

v.

1821, from French saponifier (see saponification). Related: Saponified; saponifying.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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saponification in Medicine

saponification sa·pon·i·fi·ca·tion (sə-pŏn'ə-fĭ-kā'shən)
n.
A reaction in which an ester is heated with an alkali, such as sodium hydroxide, producing a free alcohol and an acid salt, especially alkaline hydrolysis of a fat or an oil to make soap.

saponify sa·pon·i·fy (sə-pŏn'ə-fī')
v. sa·pon·i·fied, sa·pon·i·fy·ing, sa·pon·i·fies
To undergo saponification.

The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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25
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