Definition of "saponification" []

  • 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. (noun)

American Heritage(R) Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition. Copyright (c) 2011 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.

Use "saponification" in a sentence
  • "Interestingly, one of the beneficial uses of hot-fat saponification is in the kitchen:"
  • "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."
  • "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."