verb (used with object), sa·pon·i·fied, sa·pon·i·fy·ing.
to convert (a fat) into soap by treating with an alkali.
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.
to become converted into soap.
Origin of saponify
1815–25;Related formssa·pon·i·fi·a·ble, adjectivesa·pon·i·fi·ca·tion, nounsa·pon·i·fi·er, nounnon·sa·pon·i·fi·a·ble, adjectivenon·sa·pon·i·fi·ca·tion, nounun·sa·pon·i·fi·a·ble, adjectiveun·sa·pon·i·fied, adjective
< Latin sāpōn-
(stem of sāpō
Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019
Examples from the Web for unsaponifiable
Historical Examples of unsaponifiable
Unsaponifiable matter is present in rosin in varying amounts.
Unsaponifiable matter, determination of by standard method, 176.
This fat is somewhat tough and sticky, and the amount of unsaponifiable matter present is sometimes considerable.
The residue, dried in the oven at 100° C. until constant, is the "unsaponifiable matter," which is calculated to per cent.
Besides these it is often necessary to determine insoluble matter, glycerine, unsaponifiable matter, rosin and sugar.
British Dictionary definitions for unsaponifiable
verb -fies, -fying or -fied chem
Derived Formssaponifiable, adjectivesaponifier, nounsaponification, noun
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
Word Origin for saponify
C19: from French saponifier, 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
Word Origin and History for unsaponifiable
1821, from French saponifier (see saponification). Related: Saponified; saponifying.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
unsaponifiable in Medicine
To undergo saponification.
The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.