detergent

adjective
de·​ter·​gent | \ di-ˈtər-jənt How to pronounce detergent (audio) \

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

Keep scrolling for more

Synonyms for detergent

Synonyms: Noun

Visit the Thesaurus for More 

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 Its large portfolio includes everything from laundry detergent and toothpaste to baby diapers. Benzinga, Detroit Free Press, "Good news may be ahead on China as volatile earnings roll in," 10 Nov. 2019 Modern phosphate, for fertilizers and other uses like in detergents and nerve gas, comes from the non-renewable source of rock. David Grossman, Popular Mechanics, "Are We Reaching Peak Phosphorus? Maybe," 4 Nov. 2019 Substitute hot water and dish detergent and scrub away. Country Living Staff, Country Living, "How to Clean a Burnt Pan," 14 Oct. 2019 Washed my face with Dawn dish detergent to degrease it. Hana Hong, Marie Claire, "Derms Weigh In on Reddit’s Weirdest Skin Confessions," 8 Nov. 2019 Jeans, Pierson and Talbot said, should be washed in cold water with a mild detergent. Joshua Bote, USA TODAY, "How often should you wash jeans? It's fine to wait weeks — even months, experts say," 30 Oct. 2019 The company makes paper bottles for use with laundry detergent sold under Unilever’s Seventh Generation brand, and the Seed personal care line made by L’Oreal. Emily Chasan, Los Angeles Times, "Can U.S. consumers save paper recycling, one straw or TV dinner tray at a time?," 20 Oct. 2019 The brand recommends placing the shoes in a linen bag and machine washing in cold water on the delicate cycle with gentle detergent. Lexie Sachs, Good Housekeeping, "We Reviewed Allbirds, the "World's Most Comfortable" Shoes — Here's What You Need to Know," 11 Sep. 2019 Those with sensitive skin are generally more reactive to soaps, detergents, dyes, and fragrances in topical products, and using the wrong ones can result in itchiness, dryness, and reddening. Rebecca Dancer, Allure, "Everything You Need to Know for Identifying and Treating Sensitive Skin," 8 Dec. 2019

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.

See More

First Known Use of detergent

Adjective

1616, in the meaning defined above

Noun

1676, in the meaning defined above

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about detergent

Time Traveler for detergent

Time Traveler

The first known use of detergent was in 1616

See more words from the same year

Statistics for detergent

Cite this Entry

“Detergent.” The Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster Inc., https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/detergent?pronunciation&lang=en_us&dir=d&file=deterg03. Accessed 20 January 2020.

Keep scrolling for more

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 How to pronounce detergent (audio) \

Kids Definition of detergent

: a substance that cleans

detergent

adjective
de·​ter·​gent | \ di-ˈtər-jənt How to pronounce detergent (audio) \

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
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

Keep scrolling for more

Comments on detergent

What made you want to look up detergent? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).

WORD OF THE DAY

not to be intimidated or subdued

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

The Eponym Quiz

  • rubens painting
  • Which is the best synonym of bowdlerize?
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?

TAKE THE QUIZ
Citation

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

TAKE THE QUIZ
Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!