- to convert (a fat) into soap by treating with an alkali.
- to decompose (any ester), forming the corresponding alcohol and acid or salt.
- to become converted into soap.
Origin of saponify
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018
Examples from the Web for saponification
For the saponification we employ a solution of sodium ethylate in the cold.Researches on Cellulose
C. F. Cross
The commencement of the saponification is denoted by the formation of an emulsion.The Handbook of Soap Manufacture
W. H. Simmons
Hence it does not contain a soap, and is not a saponification of fat.
This is obtained from stearin (see below), by saponification.Cooley's Practical Receipts, Volume II
Carbon Dioxide, Formation of in carbonate saponification, 45.Soap-Making Manual
E. G. Thomssen
- to undergo or cause to undergo a process in which a fat is converted into a soap by treatment with alkali
- to undergo or cause to undergo a reaction in which an ester is hydrolysed to an acid and an alcohol as a result of treatment with an alkali
C19: from French saponifier, from Latin sāpō soap
Word Origin and History for saponification
1821, from French saponifier (see saponification). Related: Saponified; saponifying.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
- A reaction in which an ester is heated with an alkali, such as sodium hydroxide, producing a free alcohol and an acid salt, especially alkaline hydrolysis of a fat or oil to make soap.
- To undergo saponification.