detergent

adjective
de·​ter·​gent | \-jənt \

Definition of detergent 

(Entry 1 of 2)

: that cleanses : cleansing a detergent oil

detergent

noun

Definition of detergent (Entry 2 of 2)

: a cleansing agent: such as

a : soap

b : any of numerous synthetic water-soluble or liquid organic preparations that are chemically different from soaps but are able to emulsify oils, hold dirt in suspension, and act as wetting agents

c : an oil-soluble substance that holds insoluble foreign matter in suspension and is used in lubricating oils and dry-cleaning solvents

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Synonyms for detergent

Synonyms: Noun

cleaner, cleanser, soap

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Examples of detergent in a Sentence

Noun

We have tried different laundry detergents. add the detergent to the washing machine before putting in the clothes

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

Many shower gels are not technically soap but rather detergents, usually made from a petroleum base rather than animal or vegetable fats. C. Claiborne Ray, New York Times, "In Your Bathroom, the Scum of the Earth," 6 Apr. 2018 According to Consumer Reports, mold can develop in several places in front-load washing machines: namely the detergent dispenser and the rubber gasket around the opening of the washer. Brittney Morgan, House Beautiful, "This $20 Gadget Will Save Your Washing Machine From Mold," 12 Oct. 2018 According to Consumer Reports, today’s detergents contain high-power enzymes that kick into action at temperatures as low as 60 degrees. The Seattle Times, "Little changes can make a big difference in climate change," 24 Sep. 2018 Mixing water with a biodegradable liquid dishwashing detergent and spraying has been known to sink the ants as well, according to Nester. Madeline Farber, Fox News, "Florence floodwaters result in 'islands' of floating fire ants," 19 Sep. 2018 Amazon’s Prime Pantry program now ships non-perishable goods and household supplies, while its programmable Dash buttons now let Prime customers reorder everyday items like laundry detergent in mere seconds. Nick Statt, The Verge, "Amazon and Walmart’s rivalry is reshaping how we’ll buy everything in the future," 3 Aug. 2018 Wash your bathing suit thoroughly with detergent and then use heat to dry it. Matthew Diebel, USA TODAY, "Ee-ew! Authorities warn as sea lice invade beaches in Pensacola, northwest Florida," 27 June 2018 Synthetic flags can be washed in cold water with mild detergent, while older flags can be hand-washed with Woolite. Country Living Staff, Country Living, "American Flag Etiquette: Here's How to Properly Display the American Flag," 29 May 2018 Plus, remember all the commotion about people eating detergent pods? Carolyn L. Todd, SELF, "Emergency Responders Share 9 of the Biggest Death Traps in Your Home," 14 July 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'detergent.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of detergent

Adjective

1616, in the meaning defined above

Noun

1676, in the meaning defined above

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Statistics for detergent

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for detergent

The first known use of detergent was in 1616

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More Definitions for detergent

detergent

noun

English Language Learners Definition of detergent

: a powder or liquid that is used to clean clothes, dishes, etc. : a chemical substance that is like soap

detergent

noun
de·​ter·​gent | \di-ˈtər-jənt \

Kids Definition of detergent

: a substance that cleans

detergent

adjective
de·​ter·​gent | \di-ˈtər-jənt \

Medical Definition of detergent 

(Entry 1 of 2)

: having a cleansing action

detergent

noun

Medical Definition of detergent (Entry 2 of 2)

: a cleansing agent: as

a : soap sense 1

b : any of numerous synthetic water-soluble or liquid organic preparations that are chemically different from soaps but are able to emulsify oils, hold dirt in suspension, and act as wetting agents

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Comments on detergent

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