detergent

Detergent is a substance that's used for cleaning. Detergent is similar to soap, but it's stronger and dissolves more completely in water.

Detergents are special, powerful cleansers that can break up dirt, oils, and grease in clothing or on dishes. You might buy laundry detergent for washing your dirty clothes and dish detergent for the sink full of plates and bowls after your dinner party. The Latin root of detergent is detergere, "to wipe away or cleanse."

Definitions of detergent
1

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

Types:
dishwasher detergent, dishwashing detergent, dishwashing liquid
a low-sudsing detergent designed for use in dishwashers
laundry detergent
any of various detergents designed for use in a washing machine for clothing
liquid detergent
a detergent in liquid form
Type of:
cleaner, cleanser, cleansing agent
a preparation used in cleaning something

n a surface-active chemical widely used in industry and laundering

Types:
show 4 types...
hide 4 types...
anionic, anionic detergent, non-ionic detergent
a class of synthetic detergents in which the molecules do not ionize in aqueous solutions
cationic detergent, invert soap
a class of synthetic detergents in which the surface-active part of the molecule is the cation
SLS, sodium lauryl sulfate, sodium lauryl sulphate
a caustic detergent useful for removing grease; although commonly included in personal care items (shampoos and toothpastes etc.) it can irritate skin and should not be swallowed
cetrimide
a cationic detergent that is a powerful disinfectant
Type of:
surface-active agent, surfactant, wetter, wetting agent
a chemical agent capable of reducing the surface tension of a liquid in which it is dissolved

adj having cleansing power

Synonyms:
detersive
purifying
freeing from noxious matter

Sign up, it's free!

Whether you're a student, an educator, or a lifelong learner, Vocabulary.com can put you on the path to systematic vocabulary improvement.