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Pronunciation: sa-pon'i-fi-ka'shun

Definition: Conversion into soap, denoting the hydrolytic action of an alkali on fat, especially on triacylglycerols; in histochemistry, saponification is used to demethylate or reverse blockage of carboxylic acid groups, thus permitting basophilia to occur.

[sapo- (sapon-) + L. facio, to make]

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© Copyright 2018 Wolters Kluwer. All Rights Reserved. Review date: Sep 19, 2016.