from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition.

  • noun A cleansing agent, manufactured in bars, granules, flakes, or liquid form, made from a mixture of the sodium salts of various fatty acids of natural oils and fats.
  • noun A metallic salt of a fatty acid, as of aluminum or iron, that is not water soluble and may be used as a lubricant, thickener, or in various coating applications, ointments, or disinfectants.
  • noun Slang Money, especially that which is used for bribery.
  • noun A soap opera.
  • transitive verb To treat or cover with or as if with soap.
  • transitive verb Informal To softsoap; cajole.
  • transitive verb Slang To bribe.
  • idiom (no soap) Not possible or permissible.
  • idiom (no soap) Unsuccessful; futile.

from The Century Dictionary.

  • To rub or treat with soap; apply soap to.
  • To use smooth words to; flatter.
  • noun The fatty matter obtained by adding just enough acid to a soap solution to cause the separation of the fatty acids.
  • In calico-printing, to remove, by means of soap, impurities from (cloth) before bleaching; also, after printing, to remove the thickening used in the color.
  • noun A chemical compound in common domestic use for washing and cleansing, made by the union of certain fatty acids with a salifiable base.
  • noun A kind of pomade for coloring the hair.
  • noun Smooth words; persuasion; flattery: more often called soft soap.
  • noun Money secretly used for political purposes.
  • noun white Castile soap, which contains 21 per cent of water, is of a pale grayish-white color, giving no oily stains to paper, free from rancid odor, and entirely soluble in alcohol or water; and
  • noun marbled Castile soap, which is harder and more alkaline, contains 14 per cent. of water, and has veins or streaks of ferruginous matter running through it. Formerly also, erroneously, castle-soap; also Spanish soap.
  • noun See def. 3.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English.

  • transitive verb To rub or wash over with soap.
  • transitive verb Slang To flatter; to wheedle.
  • noun A substance which dissolves in water, thus forming a lather, and is used as a cleansing agent. Soap is produced by combining fats or oils with alkalies or alkaline earths, usually by boiling, and consists of salts of sodium, potassium, etc., with the fatty acids (oleic, stearic, palmitic, etc.). See the Note below, and cf. saponification. By extension, any compound of similar composition or properties, whether used as a cleaning agent or not.
  • noun a fine-grained hard soap, white or mottled, made of olive oil and soda; -- called also Marseilles soap or Venetian soap.
  • noun any one of a great variety of soaps, of different ingredients and color, which are hard and compact. All solid soaps are of this class.
  • noun an insoluble, white, pliable soap made by saponifying an oil (olive oil) with lead oxide; -- used externally in medicine. Called also lead plaster, diachylon, etc.
  • noun See under Marine.
  • noun (Med.) pills containing soap and opium.
  • noun any soap made with potash, esp. the soft soaps, and a hard soap made from potash and castor oil.
  • noun any hard soap charged with a gritty powder, as silica, alumina, powdered pumice, etc., which assists mechanically in the removal of dirt.
  • noun a yellow soap containing resin, -- used in bleaching.
  • noun a cheap soap containing water glass (sodium silicate).
  • noun (Bot.) See Quillaia bark.
  • noun a hollow iridescent globe, formed by blowing a film of soap suds from a pipe; figuratively, something attractive, but extremely unsubstantial.
  • noun a cerate formed of soap, olive oil, white wax, and the subacetate of lead, sometimes used as an application to allay inflammation.
  • noun the refuse fat of kitchens, slaughter houses, etc., used in making soap.
  • noun (Med.) a liniment containing soap, camphor, and alcohol.
  • noun the hard kernel or seed of the fruit of the soapberry tree, -- used for making beads, buttons, etc.
  • noun (Bot.) one of several plants used in the place of soap, as the Chlorogalum pomeridianum, a California plant, the bulb of which, when stripped of its husk and rubbed on wet clothes, makes a thick lather, and smells not unlike new brown soap. It is called also soap apple, soap bulb, and soap weed.
  • noun (Bot.) Same as Soapberry tree.
  • noun a soap containing a sodium salt. The soda soaps are all hard soaps.
  • noun [Colloq.] a soap of a gray or brownish yellow color, and of a slimy, jellylike consistence, made from potash or the lye from wood ashes. It is strongly alkaline and often contains glycerin, and is used in scouring wood, in cleansing linen, in dyehouses, etc. Figuratively, flattery; wheedling; blarney.
  • noun hard soap for the toilet, usually colored and perfumed.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.

  • noun uncountable A substance able to mix with both oil and water, used for cleaning, often in the form of a solid bar or in liquid form, derived from fats or made synthetically.
  • noun countable, informal A soap opera.
  • verb transitive To apply soap to in washing.
  • verb transitive, informal To cover with soap as a prank.
  • verb transitive, informal To be discreet about (a topic).
  • verb slang, dated To flatter; to wheedle.


from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

[Middle English sope, from Old English sāpe.]

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

From Middle English sope, sape, from Old English sāpe ("soap, salve"), from Proto-Germanic *saipōn, from Proto-Indo-European *seyb-, *seyp- (“to pour out, drip, trickle, strain”). Cognate with Scots saip, sape ("soap"), West Frisian sjippe ("soap"), Dutch zeep ("soap"), Low German sepe ("soap"), German Seife ("soap"), Swedish såpa ("soap"), Icelandic sápa ("soap"). Related also to Old English sāp ("amber, resin, pomade, unguent"), Latin sēbum ("tallow, fat, grease"). See seep.


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  • Remove or destroy 2-6 minutes Before donning sterile surgeon's chlorhexidine, iodine and iodophors. transient microorganisms gloves for surgical procedures. tt chloroxylenol [PCMX], triclosan) and reduce resident flora Follow manufacturer (persistent effect) instructions for Water and non-antimicrobial soap (e.g., surgical hand-scrub plain soap¶) followed by an alcohol-based product with surgical hand-scrub product with persistent activity±** persistent activity

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  • Technically speaking, however, the meaning of the term soap is considerably restricted, being generally limited to the combinations of fatty acids and alkalies, obtained by treating various animal or vegetable fatty matters, or the fatty acids derived therefrom, with soda or potash, the former giving hard soaps, the latter soft soaps.

    The Handbook of Soap Manufacture H. A. Appleton

  • Because you will be embedding the glitter strips in the soap, make sure that the soap is a cool temperature.

    President's Day Soap Anne-Marie 2008

  • This means that the soap is actually some form of lathering chemical (like SLS or Sodium Lauryl Sulfate) pressed together to form a bar of soap. "(when they give you a disbelieving look, head into this section)" Seriously!

    Why Does Your Soap Cost So Much? Anne-Marie 2008

  • This soap is an easy three layer loaf soap, with some sparkles thrown in for fun.

    President's Day Soap Anne-Marie 2008

  • This soap is the creation of Nizzy in Oz. Children love this soap since it floats.

    FLOAP soap Anne-Marie 2007

  • While not my most favorite scent, the soap is an artist marvel.

    Archive 2007-11-01 Anne-Marie 2007

  • Happily the soap is also infused with peppermint and citrus scents so you don't end up smelling like a jar of coffee beans.

    Start your day right, with-- eddvick 2007

  • While not my most favorite scent, the soap is an artist marvel.

    FLOAP soap Anne-Marie 2007

  • He was a materialist, and described himself as one: he disbelieved in what he called the soap-bubble theory, that somewhere in us there is something like a bubble, which controls everything, and is everything, and escapes invisible and gaseous to some other place after death.

    Catharine Furze Mark Rutherford 1872


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