Origin of surfactant
1945–50; shortening of surf(ace)-act(ive) a(ge)nt
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018
- Also called: surface-active agent a substance, such as a detergent, that can reduce the surface tension of a liquid and thus allow it to foam or penetrate solids; a wetting agent
- having the properties of a surfactant
C20: surf (ace) -act (ive) a (ge) nt
- A surface-active substance.
- A substance composed of lipoprotein that is secreted by the alveolar cells of the lung and serves to maintain the stability of pulmonary tissue by reducing the surface tension of fluids that coat the lung.
The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
- A substance that, when dissolved in water, lowers the surface tension of the water and increases the solubility of organic compounds. Surfactants are used in inks to increase the effects of capillary action; detergents are surfactants that help remove organic compounds from a substance by making them dissolve more readily in the water in which the substance is washed.
- A substance composed of lipoprotein that is secreted by the alveolar cells of the lung and maintains the stability of pulmonary tissue by reducing the surface tension of fluids that coat the lung.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary Copyright © 2011. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.