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saponin

[sap-uh-nin] /ˈsæp ə nɪn/
noun, Biochemistry
1.
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
1825-1835
1825-35; < French saponine < Latin sāpōn- (stem of sāpō) soap + French -ine -in2
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Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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British Dictionary definitions for saponins

saponin

/ˈsæpənɪn/
noun
1.
any of a group of plant glycosides with a steroid structure that foam when shaken and are used in detergents
Word Origin
C19: from French saponine, 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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saponins in Medicine

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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saponins in Science
saponin
  (sāp'ə-nĭn, sə-pō'-)   
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 Article for saponins

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.

Learn more about saponin with a free trial on Britannica.com
Encyclopedia Britannica, 2008. Encyclopedia Britannica Online.
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