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saponin

[ sap-uh-nin ]
/ ˈsæp ə nɪn /
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noun Biochemistry.
any of a group of amorphous glycosides of terpenes and steroids, occurring in many plants, characterized by an ability to form emulsions and to foam in aqueous solutions, and used as detergents.
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Origin of saponin

1825–35; <French saponine<Latin sāpōn- (stem of sāpō) soap + French -ine-in2
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How to use saponin in a sentence

British Dictionary definitions for saponin

saponin
/ (ˈsæpənɪn) /

noun
any of a group of plant glycosides with a steroid structure that foam when shaken and are used in detergents

Word Origin for saponin

C19: from French saponine, from Latin sāpō soap
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 saponin

saponin
[ săpə-nĭn, sə-pō- ]

Any of various plant glucosides that form soapy lathers when mixed and agitated with water. They are used in detergents, foaming agents, and emulsifiers. Some saponins, such as digitalis, affect the heart and have been used as medicines and arrow poisons by indigenous peoples of Africa and South America.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary Copyright © 2011. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
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