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surfactant

[ser-fak-tuh nt] /sərˈfæk tənt/
noun, Chemistry
Origin
1945-1950
1945-50; shortening of surf(ace)-act(ive) a(ge)nt
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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Examples for surfactants
  • Numerous published reports have raised concern over the safety of a few surfactants.
British Dictionary definitions for surfactants

surfactant

/sɜːˈfæktənt/
noun
1.
Also called surface-active agent. a substance, such as a detergent, that can reduce the surface tension of a liquid and thus allow it to foam or penetrate solids; a wetting agent
adjective
2.
having the properties of a surfactant
Word Origin
C20: surf(ace)-act(ive) a(ge)nt
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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surfactants in Medicine

surfactant sur·fac·tant (sər-fāk'tənt, sûr'fāk'-)
n.

  1. A surface-active substance.

  2. A substance composed of lipoprotein that is secreted by the alveolar cells of the lung and serves to maintain the stability of pulmonary tissue by reducing the surface tension of fluids that coat the lung.

The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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surfactants in Science
surfactant
  (sər-fāk'tənt)   
  1. A substance that, when dissolved in water, lowers the surface tension of the water and increases the solubility of organic compounds. Surfactants are used in inks to increase the effects of capillary action; detergents are surfactants that help remove organic compounds from a substance by making them dissolve more readily in the water in which the substance is washed.

  2. A substance composed of lipoprotein that is secreted by the alveolar cells of the lung and maintains the stability of pulmonary tissue by reducing the surface tension of fluids that coat the lung.


The American Heritage® Science Dictionary
Copyright © 2002. Published by Houghton Mifflin. All rights reserved.
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