saponification


saponification

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.

verb -fies, -fying or -fied chem

  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

n.1801, from French saponification, from saponifier, from Modern Latin saponificare, from sapon- “soap” (see soap (n.)) + -ficare, from Latin facere “to make, do” (see factitious). v.1821, from French saponifier (see saponification). Related: Saponified; saponifying. n.

  1. A reaction in which an ester is heated with an alkali, such as sodium hydroxide, producing a free alcohol and an acid salt, especially alkaline hydrolysis of a fat or oil to make soap.

v.

  1. To undergo saponification.

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