—soapless, adj. —soaplike, adj./sohp/, n.1. 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.2. any metallic salt of an acid derived from a fat.3. Slang. money, esp. as used for bribery in politics.5. no soap, Informal. no go: He wanted me to vote for him, but I told him no soap.v.t.6. to rub, cover, lather, or treat with soap.[bef. 1000; ME sope, OE sape, c. G Seife, D zeep, all < WGmc (perh. > > L sapo; cf. SAPONIFY)]
* * *Any of a group of organic compounds that are salts of fatty acids, usually stearic acid (with 18 carbon atoms) or palmitic acid (with 16 carbon atoms).The source may be any vegetable oil or animal fat. Soaps are emulsifying agents commonly used for cleaning; they have long been made from lye and fat. Detergents are entirely synthetic and may or may not be soaps. Soaps of metals heavier than sodium are not very soluble; the curdy precipitate made by soap in hard water is the calcium or magnesium salt of the fatty acid in the soap. Heavy-metal soaps are used in lubricating greases, as gel thickeners, and in paints. Napalm is an aluminum soap.
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