Definition of surfactant noun from the Oxford Advanced Learner's Dictionary



    BrE BrE//sɜːˈfæktənt//
    ; NAmE NAmE//sɜːrˈfæktənt//
    [countable, uncountable]
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  1. 1 (specialist) a substance that reduces the surface tension of a liquid, often forming bubbles in the liquid
  2. 2 (medical) a substance that keeps the lungs working well to prevent breathing problems
  3. Word Origin1950s: from surf(ace)-act(ive) + -ant.
See the Oxford Advanced American Dictionary entry: surfactant