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saponify

[ suh-pon-uh-fahy ]

verb (used with object)

, sa·pon·i·fied, sa·pon·i·fy·ing.
  1. to convert (a fat) into soap by treating with an alkali.
  2. to decompose (any ester), forming the corresponding alcohol and acid or salt.


verb (used without object)

, sa·pon·i·fied, sa·pon·i·fy·ing.
  1. to become converted into soap.

saponify

/ səˈpɒnɪˌfaɪ /

verb

  1. to undergo or cause to undergo a process in which a fat is converted into a soap by treatment with alkali
  2. 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


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Derived Forms

  • saˈponiˌfiable, adjective
  • saˈponiˌfier, noun
  • saˌponifiˈcation, noun
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Other Words From

  • sa·poni·fia·ble adjective
  • sa·poni·fi·cation noun
  • sa·poni·fier noun
  • nonsa·poni·fia·ble adjective
  • nonsa·poni·fi·cation noun
  • unsa·poni·fia·ble adjective
  • unsa·poni·fied adjective
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Word History and Origins

Origin of saponify1

1815–25; < Latin sāpōn- (stem of sāpō ) soap + -ify
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Word History and Origins

Origin of saponify1

C19: from French saponifier, from Latin sāpō soap
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Example Sentences

They are then placed in fairly strong limes for two or three days to swell the fibres and saponify the grease.

In any method it is necessary to saponify or emulsify the grease on the grain, or difficulties occur in dyeing and finishing.

They also saponify and emulsify the grease, and it is obvious, therefore, that liming can be carried too far.

Next to olive oil, this species is the most easy to saponify.

If any does get on, a little animal grease or vegetable oil will quickly saponify it.

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saponification numbersaponin