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surface-active agent

[sur-fis-ak-tiv] /ˈsɜr fɪsˌæk tɪv/
noun, Chemistry
any substance that when dissolved in water or an aqueous solution reduces its surface tension or the interfacial tension between it and another liquid.
Also called surfactant. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Encyclopedia Article for sur face active agent's

surface-active agent

substance such as a detergent that, when added to a liquid, reduces its surface tension, thereby increasing its spreading and wetting properties. In the dyeing of textiles, surface-active agents help the dye penetrate the fabric evenly. They are used to disperse aqueous suspensions of insoluble dyes and perfumes.

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Encyclopedia Britannica, 2008. Encyclopedia Britannica Online.
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