- a substance used for washing and cleansing purposes, usually made by treating a fat with an alkali, as sodium or potassium hydroxide, and consisting chiefly of the sodium or potassium salts of the acids contained in the fat.
- any metallic salt of an acid derived from a fat.
- Slang. money, especially as used for bribery in politics.
- Slang. Also soaper. soap opera.
- to rub, cover, lather, or treat with soap.
- no soap, Informal. no go: He wanted me to vote for him, but I told him no soap.
Origin of soap
Examples from the Web for soap
And just this week, reports surfaced that the regime recently executed 10 party officials for watching South Korean soap operas.How ‘Titanic ’Helped This Brave Young Woman Escape North Korea’s Totalitarian State
October 31, 2014
Like the soap operas of yore, Marvel has replaced major and minor characters in their films as necessary.The Coming Civil War: Iron Man Vs. Captain America 3
October 19, 2014
Supplies of soap, bleach, or alcohol-based hand gel also were depleted.$10,000 a Month for Ebola Fighters
October 7, 2014
Nonetheless, the pop provocateur that soap fans know by the mononym “Franco” has decided to unpack it.James Franco and Scott Haze on 'The Sound and the Fury' and Gawker 'Outing' Them As A 'Couple'
September 6, 2014
The show is as precisely plotted as a soap opera and beautifully lit; entirely, fatally addictive.‘Made in Chelsea’ Has a New York Moment
August 19, 2014
Take the making of soap, that I told you about; there you have it, cheap and good.
I'll tell you about the newspaper business if you'll tell me about soap making.
The women eliminate the baker, the soap boiler, and a lot of other parasites.
She sent us soap, and she gave me bandages &c., for my hurt.Ned Myers
James Fenimore Cooper
She had a ribbon in her long, glossy hair, and her face shone pleasantly with soap.In the Valley
- a cleaning or emulsifying agent made by reacting animal or vegetable fats or oils with potassium or sodium hydroxide. Soaps often contain colouring matter and perfume and act by emulsifying grease and lowering the surface tension of water, so that it more readily penetrates open materials such as textilesSee also detergent Related adjective: saponaceous
- any metallic salt of a fatty acid, such as palmitic or stearic acidSee also metallic soap
- slang flattery or persuasive talk (esp in the phrase soft soap)
- informal short for soap opera
- US and Canadian slang money, esp for bribery
- no soap US and Canadian slang not possible or successful
- (tr) to apply soap to
- (tr often foll by up) slang
- to flatter or talk persuasively to
- US and Canadianto bribe
Word Origin and History for soap
Old English sape "soap, salve" (originally a reddish hair dye used by Germanic warriors to give a frightening appearance), from Proto-Germanic *saipon "dripping thing, resin" (cf. Middle Low German sepe, West Frisian sjippe, Dutch zeep, Old High German seiffa, German seife "soap," Old High German seifar "foam," Old English sipian "to drip"), from PIE *soi-bon-, from root *seib- "to pour out, drip, trickle" (cf. Latin sebum "tallow, suet, grease").
Romans and Greeks used oil to clean skin; the Romance language words for "soap" (cf. Italian sapone, French savon, Spanish jabon) are from Late Latin sapo "pomade for coloring the hair" (first mentioned in Pliny), which is a Germanic loan-word, as is Finnish saippua. The meaning "flattery" is recorded from 1853.
1580s, from soap (n.). Related: Soaped; soaping.
- A cleansing agent that is made from a mixture of the sodium salts of various fatty acids of natural oils and fats.
- A metallic salt of a fatty acid, as of aluminum or iron.
- A substance used for washing or cleaning, consisting of a mixture of sodium or potassium salts of naturally occurring fatty acids. Like detergents, soaps work by surrounding particles of grease or dirt with their molecules, thereby allowing them to be carried away. Unlike detergents, soaps react with the minerals common in most water, forming an insoluble film that remains on fabrics. For this reason soap is not as efficient a cleaner as most detergents. The film is also what causes rings to form in bathtubs. Compare detergent.
Idioms and Phrases with soap
In addition to the idiom beginning with soap
- soap opera
- no dice (soap)
- on one's soapbox
- soft soap