from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition
- n. 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.
from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License
- n. The hydrolysis of an ester under basic conditions to form an alcohol and the salt of the acid.
- n. The reaction of a metallic alkali (base) with a fat or oil to form soap.
from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English
- n. The act, process, or result, of soap making; conversion into soap; specifically (Chem.), the decomposition of fats and other ethereal salts by alkalies.
from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
- n. Conversion into soap; the process in which fatty substances, through combination with an alkali, form soap.
from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.
- n. a chemical reaction in which an ester is heated with an alkali (especially the alkaline hydrolysis of a fat or oil to make soap)
Sorry, no etymologies found.
Interestingly, one of the beneficial uses of hot-fat saponification is in the kitchen:
Instead, the moist soil and the lack of air exchange that would occur normally are causing a process called saponification to occur, where the bodies literally turn into a waxy substance similar to soap.
He demonstrated the reactions occurring when this phenomenon, known as saponification, is brought about by strong bases or strong acids.
All modern re-refineries today rely on crucial cleansing processes -- yet, when vegetable-based and animal fat-based products are subjected to these necessary and unavoidable steps, an unwanted chemical reaction known as "saponification" occurs.
When organic matters (resins, waxes, oils) are decomposed by inorganic solutions, one speaks of "saponification".
a process called saponification, as medicine for heavy cough and as animal lick, and unwashed salt that is on high demand in factories for preserving fish and animal hides and skins.
Jour. _, p. 338) that the most reliable method of estimating the adulteration of beeswax is that proposed by Becker, and known as the saponification method.
(Interestingly, in warm, moist environments, zombies would make their own soap through a process called saponification in which fat in the body is transformed under high pH conditions.
This process, called saponification (also used to refer to the reaction which makes common soap) happens in cold, moist environments where the lack of oxygen keeps aerobic bacteria and other agents of dissolution from doing their work.
It tends to begin on the outside of the corpse - the longer the body has been interred, the deeper the saponification penetrates.