soap

Soap gets bubbly and helps cut through dirt and oil. People use soap for cleaning things like clothes, dishes, hands, and bodies. Don’t bother washing your mouth out with soap, though. It doesn’t get rid of bad words.

If you ask a chemist about soap, she'll call it a surfactant, a substance that reduces the surface tension of a liquid, making it spreadable. Think of what happens when you lather up a bar of soap under running water and wash your hands with the lather. Soap is made out of natural fats or oils mixed with lye. The Old English root, sape, originally referred to the red hair dye Germanic warriors used to appear scarier.

Definitions of soap
  1. noun
    a cleansing agent made from the salts of vegetable or animal fats
    see moresee less
    types:
    show 8 types...
    hide 8 types...
    bar soap
    soap in the form of a bar
    castile soap
    a good hard soap made from olive oil and sodium hydroxide
    liquid soap
    soap in liquid form
    leather soap, saddle soap
    a mild soap for cleansing and conditioning leather
    soap flakes
    soap that has been cut into flakes to make suds faster
    built-soap powder, soap powder, washing powder
    soap in powdered form mixed with alkaline builders
    green soap, soft soap
    a soft (or liquid) soap made from vegetable oils; used in certain skin diseases
    bath soap, face soap, toilet soap
    soap used as a toiletry
    type of:
    cleaner, cleanser, cleansing agent
    a preparation used in cleaning something
  2. noun
    street names for gamma hydroxybutyrate
    synonyms: Georgia home boy, easy lay, goop, grievous bodily harm, liquid ecstasy, max, scoop
    see moresee less
    type of:
    GHB, gamma hydroxybutyrate
    a club drug available in liquid or powder form is taken orally (frequently combined with alcohol); used to incapacitate individuals for the commission of sexual assault and rape
  3. noun
    money offered as a bribe
    see moresee less
    type of:
    bribe, payoff
    payment made to a person in a position of trust to corrupt his judgment
  4. verb
    rub soap all over, usually with the purpose of cleaning
    synonyms: lather
    see moresee less
    type of:
    clean, cleanse
    clean one's body or parts thereof, as by washing
Word Family
EDITOR’S CHOICE

Test prep from the experts

Boost your test score with programs developed by Vocabulary.com’s experts.

  • Proven methods: Learn faster, remember longer with our scientific approach.
  • Personalized plan: We customize your experience to maximize your learning.
  • Strategic studying: Focus on the words that are most crucial for success.

SAT/PSAT

$29.95
  • Number of words: 500+
  • Duration: 8 weeks or less
  • Time: 1 hour / week

TOEFL

$29.95
  • Number of words: 500+
  • Duration: 10 weeks or less
  • Time: 1 hour / week