Definition of detergent in US English:

detergent

noun

  • 1A water-soluble cleansing agent which combines with impurities and dirt to make them more soluble, and differs from soap in not forming a scum with the salts in hard water.

    • ‘Use a non-ammonia soap or detergent in hot water, or use a commercial cleaner to scrub the entire area affected by mold.’
    • ‘All-purpose household cleaners, soaps, detergents and wax removers usually contain one or more alkalis, and so should not be used on terrazzo.’
    • ‘For some it's best to avoid soaps with detergents or dyes to clean sensitive areas.’
    • ‘Rainwater typically has very low hardness levels, which reduces the use of soaps and detergents, and eliminates the need for a water softener.’
    • ‘Nearly all manufactured products that we use today, like gasoline, detergents, and batteries, depend in some way on sulfuric acid for their production.’
    • ‘Baking soda, distilled white vinegar, washing soda, Borax and a good liquid soap or detergent will do nicely.’
    • ‘When using washing-machine water, combine the rinse-cycle water with the wash-cycle water to dilute the detergent and bleaching agents.’
    • ‘Since soap and detergents are salts, they separate into their component ions in a solution of water.’
    • ‘This same swimming response can be elicited by contact with several other seastars, or by surfactants such as soaps and detergents, or by strong salt solutions.’
    • ‘It is important to note that the molecular weights of the detergents differ.’
    • ‘It is known as washing soda or soda ash, and is used for softening water, in the manufacture of borax, and in making glass, paper, detergents, and soap.’
    • ‘Use plain water, detergents, suitable proprietary compounds, or emulsifying agents.’
    • ‘Various fatty acids are used to make soaps and detergents that have different applications in society.’
    • ‘In addition, it is used in water purification systems and in the production of many commercial products, such as glass, pulp and paper, soaps and detergents, and textiles.’
    • ‘For a cheap window cleaner try this mixture: combine 4 tablespoons rubbing alcohol with 1/2 teaspoon liquid detergent in 4 cups water.’
    • ‘They are also added to soaps and detergents to give them their ‘fresh lemon scent.’’
    • ‘Or use a soft scrub brush and a detergent / water solution to remove all dirt and grime.’
    • ‘Washing machine detergents contain alkaline agents, which can cause the most severe form of chemical eye injury.’
    • ‘Eczema in adults can be caused by a number of substances, including cleaning agents, soaps and detergents.’
    • ‘Alkalis, acids, bleaches or detergents are added to water to chemically react with specific soils and loosen them so they are removed with the water.’
    cleaner, cleanser
    View synonyms
    1. 1.1 Any additive with an action similar to a detergent, e.g., an oil-soluble substance that holds dirt in suspension in lubricating oil.
      • ‘A lower level of detergent may cause a buildup of deposits on critical engine parts.’
      • ‘A gasoline detergent is a lot like a household detergent, helping to prevent any harmful deposit build-up.’

adjective

  • Relating to detergent compounds or their action.

    ‘staining that resists detergent action’
    • ‘In dry foam cleaning a detergent solution is whipped into foam and applied to the carpet.’
    • ‘Another agreed upon fact is that it is extremely important to rinse away every last drop of detergent residue from your hair.’
    • ‘Here, polar interactions between charged amino acids and phosphatidylcholine headgroups act as condensation seed for detergent micelle formation.’
    • ‘This is mainly the result of hydrophobic partitioning of individual detergent molecules at lipid and protein-lipid interfaces.’
    • ‘Indeed, there was preliminary evidence for a dimeric arrangement of CitS in detergent micelles and lipid membranes.’
    • ‘Puzzles can be created by saving cardboard packaging from cereal boxes, detergent boxes, soda cartons, etc.’
    • ‘Water is a fabulous cleaning agent, but it's even better when tiny nanoscale particles, such as detergent surfactants, are dispersed in it.’
    • ‘Dust control strategies include the use of an all-purpose cleaner or detergent solution to wipe or mop the floors, walls and horizontal surfaces of lead-contaminated dwellings.’
    • ‘As shown in a recent modeling of another membrane protein detergent molecules rearrange to form a fused micelle around the protein and in our case they adapt to the irregular surface of the monomer better than phospholipids.’
    • ‘Initiatives such as replacing chemical solvents with detergent solutions for cleaning metal parts are promoted throughout the Marine Corps.’
    • ‘A fresh or recirculated rinsing stage can be provided to flush detergent residues from parts.’
    • ‘The question of whether or not the static deformation is representative for the structure of LH2 in detergent solution or in membranes remains to be answered.’
    • ‘They held a live demonstration on the preparation of detergent cakes, sandalwood powder and phenyl.’
    • ‘As MII can activate transducin in detergent solution, specific lipid molecules are probably not important for this function.’
    • ‘For example, LH1 - RC complexes are much more unstable in detergent solution than LH2 complexes.’
    • ‘During stage I, detergent molecules partition between the aqueous buffer and the bilayer forming detergent-doped liposomes.’
    • ‘The Shell Higher Olefin Process also uses metathesis technology to convert ethene to detergent range molecules.’
    • ‘Wash removable glass shelves and plastic parts in warm detergent solution, rinse and wipe dry.’
    • ‘High density polyethylene products, such as milk containers, are cut into small pieces and remelted to make detergent bottles.’
    • ‘Using a stiff long handled brush, scrub stain with concentrated detergent suds.’
    cleaning, cleansing
    View synonyms

Origin

Early 17th century (as an adjective): from Latin detergent- ‘wiping away’, from the verb detergere, from de- ‘away from’ + tergere ‘to wipe’.

Pronunciation

detergent

/dəˈtərdʒənt//dəˈtərjənt/