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  1. Spanish Cas·ti·lla [kahs-tee-lyah, -yah] /kɑsˈti lyɑ, -yɑ/. a former kingdom comprising most of Spain.
  2. Also called Castile soap. a variety of mild soap, made from olive oil and sodium hydroxide.
  3. any hard soap made from fats and oils, often partly from olive oil.
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018
British Dictionary definitions for castile soap

Castile soap

  1. a hard soap made from olive oil and sodium hydroxide


Castilla (Spanish kasˈtiʎa)

  1. a former kingdom comprising most of modern Spain: originally part of León, it became an independent kingdom in the 10th century and united with Aragon (1469), the first step in the formation of the Spanish state
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

Word Origin and History for castile soap


medieval Spanish county and later kingdom, from Vulgar Latin castilla, from Latin castella, plural of castellum "castle, fort, citadel, stronghold" (see castle (n.)); so called in reference to the many fortified places there during the Moorish wars. The name in Spanish is said to date back to c.800. Related: Castilian. As a fine kind of soap, in English from 1610s.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper