[ ih-muhl-shuhn ]
See synonyms for: emulsionemulsive on Thesaurus.com

  1. Physical Chemistry. any colloidal suspension of a liquid in another liquid.

  2. such a suspension used in cosmetics.

  1. Pharmacology. a liquid preparation consisting of two completely immiscible liquids, one of which, as minute globules coated by a gum or other mucilaginous substance, is dispersed throughout the other: used as a means of making a medicine palatable.

  2. Photography. a composition sensitive to some or all of the actinic rays of light, consisting of one or more of the silver halides suspended in gelatin, applied in a thin layer to one surface of a film or the like.

Origin of emulsion

1605–15; <New Latin ēmulsiōn- (stem of ēmulsiō), equivalent to Latin ēmuls(us) milked out (ē-e-1 + mulsus, past participle of mulgēre to milk) + -iōn--ion

Other words from emulsion

  • e·mul·sive, adjective

Words Nearby emulsion

Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2024

How to use emulsion in a sentence

British Dictionary definitions for emulsion


/ (ɪˈmʌlʃən) /

  1. photog a light-sensitive coating on a base, such as paper or film, consisting of fine grains of silver bromide suspended in gelatine

  2. chem a colloid in which both phases are liquids: an oil-in-water emulsion

  1. Also called: emulsion paint a type of paint in which the pigment is suspended in a vehicle, usually a synthetic resin, that is dispersed in water as an emulsion. It usually gives a mat finish

  2. pharmacol a mixture in which an oily medicine is dispersed in another liquid

  3. any liquid resembling milk

Origin of emulsion

C17: from New Latin ēmulsiō, from Latin ēmulsus milked out, from ēmulgēre to milk out, drain out, from mulgēre to milk

Derived forms of emulsion

  • emulsive, adjective

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

Scientific definitions for emulsion


[ ĭ-mŭlshən ]

  1. A suspension of tiny droplets of one liquid in a second liquid. By making an emulsion, one can mix two liquids that ordinarily do not mix well, such as oil and water. Compare aerosol foam.

Other words from emulsion

  • emulsify verb

The American Heritage® Science Dictionary Copyright © 2011. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.