Etymology
Advertisement

detergent (adj.)

"cleansing, purging," 1610s, from Latin detergentem (nominative detergens), present participle of detergere "to wipe away, cleanse," from de "off, away" (see de-) + tergere "to rub, polish, wipe," which is of uncertain origin. Originally a medical term.

detergent (n.)

"detergent substance," 1670s, from detergent (adj.). Originally a medical term; application to "chemical cleansing product" is by 1932.

Others are reading

Advertisement
Advertisement
Definitions of detergent
1
detergent (n.)
a surface-active chemical widely used in industry and laundering;
detergent (n.)
a cleansing agent that differs from soap but can also emulsify oils and hold dirt in suspension;
2
detergent (adj.)
having cleansing power;
Synonyms: detersive
From wordnet.princeton.edu