saponin

[sap-uh-nin]
noun Biochemistry.
any of a group of amorphous glycosides of terpenes and steroids, occurring in many plants, characterized by an ability to form emulsions and to foam in aqueous solutions, and used as detergents.

Origin:
1825–35; < French saponine < Latin sāpōn- (stem of sāpō) soap + French -ine -in2

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World English Dictionary
saponin (ˈsæpənɪn)
 
n
any of a group of plant glycosides with a steroid structure that foam when shaken and are used in detergents
 
[C19: from French saponine, from Latin sāpōsoap]

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
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American Heritage
Medical Dictionary

saponin sap·o·nin (sāp'ə-nĭn, sə-pō'-)
n.
Any of various plant glucosides that form soapy lathers when mixed and agitated with water, used in detergents, foaming agents, and emulsifiers.

The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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American Heritage
Science Dictionary
saponin   (sāp'ə-nĭn, sə-pō'-)  Pronunciation Key 
Any of various plant glucosides that form soapy lathers when mixed and agitated with water. They are used in detergents, foaming agents, and emulsifiers. Some saponins, such as digitalis, affect the heart and have been used as medicines and arrow poisons by indigenous peoples of Africa and South America.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary
Copyright © 2002. Published by Houghton Mifflin. All rights reserved.
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Encyclopedia Britannica
Encyclopedia

saponin

any of numerous substances, occurring in plants, that form stable foams with water, including the constituents of digitalis and squill that affect the heart and another group that does not affect the heart.

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Encyclopedia Britannica, 2008. Encyclopedia Britannica Online.
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Example sentences
And the final step will be adequately soaking the seeds to remove the saponin, a tannin that tastes bitter.
Quinoa is coated with a bitter substance called saponin, which must be washed off before it can be eaten.
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