Definitions for detergentdɪˈtɜr dʒənt

This page provides all possible meanings and translations of the word detergent

Random House Webster's College Dictionary

de•ter•gentdɪˈtɜr dʒənt(n.)

  1. any synthetic organic cleaning agent that is liquid or water-soluble and has wetting-agent and emulsifying properties.

    Category: Chemistry

  2. a similar substance that is oil-soluble, used in lubricating oils, dry-cleaning preparations, etc.

    Category: Chemistry

  3. any cleansing agent, including soap.

    Category: Chemistry

  4. (adj.)cleansing; purging.

Origin of detergent:

1610–20; (< F) < L dētergent-, s. of dētergēns, prp. of dētergēre. See deterge , -ent

Princeton's WordNet

  1. detergent(noun)

    a surface-active chemical widely used in industry and laundering

  2. detergent(adj)

    a cleansing agent that differs from soap but can also emulsify oils and hold dirt in suspension

  3. detergent, detersive(adj)

    having cleansing power

Kernerman English Learner's Dictionary

  1. detergent(noun)ɪˈtɜr dʒənt

    substance used to clean clothes, dishes, etc.

    laundry detergent


  1. detergent(Noun)

    Any non-soap cleaning agent, especially a synthetic surfactant.

  2. detergent(Adjective)

    Having the power to clean.

Webster Dictionary

  1. Detergent(adj)

    cleansing; purging

  2. Detergent(noun)

    a substance which cleanses the skin, as water or soap; a medicine to cleanse wounds, ulcers, etc


  1. Detergent

    A detergent is a surfactant or a mixture of surfactants with "cleaning properties in dilute solutions." These substances are usually alkylbenzenesulfonates, a family of compounds that are similar to soap but are more soluble in hard water, because the polar sulfonate is less likely than the polar carboxyl to bind to calcium and other ions found in hard water. In most household contexts, the term detergent by itself refers specifically to laundry detergent or dish detergent, as opposed to hand soap or other types of cleaning agents. Detergents are commonly available as powders or concentrated solutions. Detergents, like soaps, work because they are amphiphilic: partly hydrophilic and partly hydrophobic. Their dual nature facilitates the mixture of hydrophobic compounds with water. Because air is not hydrophilic, detergents are also foaming agents to varying degrees.

Translations for detergent

Kernerman English Multilingual Dictionary


a (soapless) substance used for cleaning

She poured detergent into the washing-machine.

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