Meaning of emulsion in English:


Pronunciation /ɪˈmʌlʃ(ə)n/

See synonyms for emulsion on

Translate emulsion into Spanish


  • 1A fine dispersion of minute droplets of one liquid in another in which it is not soluble or miscible.

    ‘oil beaten to an emulsion with a half tablespoonful of vinegar’
    • ‘Liquid polymer emulsions are used for dust control and soil and slope stabilization.’
    • ‘An oil-in-water emulsion is created by dispersing oil droplets in an aqueous phase.’
    • ‘This allows the fluorescent microspheres to behave like the aqueous droplets in the emulsion.’
    • ‘The dermal barrier composition is moisture activated, and remains inert until the hydrophobic and hydrophilic polymer emulsions contact a suitable substrate such as human skin.’
    • ‘The binder may be dissolved in a solvent, or in the form of an emulsion or colloidal dispersion in water.’
    • ‘To prepare a stable emulsion, an emulsifier must be added that facilitates emulsification of the two immiscible phases and promotes stability.’
    • ‘Latex emulsions are made up of polymeric materials suspended in an aqueous solvent by a surfactant.’
    • ‘Insecticides and miticides may be purchased in forms such as dusts, wettable powders, liquid concentrates, flowables, granules, oil emulsions, aerosol sprays, baits and fumigants.’
    • ‘They had developed and patented a form of fuel that uses emulsions of water and petroleum as replacements for traditional fuels.’
    • ‘This produces structures known as micelles, giving fatty acids the ability to form emulsions.’
    • ‘The Houston chemical plant is their only producer of the emulsion styrene butadiene rubber, the raw material used to fabricate tires, belts and hoses.’
    • ‘As the various ingredients begin to solidify, their surface properties change, weakening the emulsion so that the fat droplets can coalesce still further during the freezing phase.’
    • ‘Clearly, a system that can create an emulsion with uniform droplet sizes would simplify the data analysis.’
    • ‘It had become an experimental fact that both solutes and Brownian emulsions obey the gas laws.’
    • ‘Do not use kerosene or fuel oil emulsions as they can cause undesirable flavors in fish.’
    • ‘Her PhD thesis investigated the role of surfactants and emulsions in the petrochemical industry, and detailed the chemical mechanisms involved in road making.’
    • ‘Today, a typical sun protection product consists of a UV absorber in a base, which may be alcohol, oil, or more frequently, an emulsion.’
    • ‘Industry preparation of bitumen emulsions often requires that acid (commonly hydrochloric or phosphoric acid) be used as part of the emulsion formulation.’
    • ‘Cationic bitumen emulsions break by means of physicochemical interactions between the emulsion particles and the mineral aggregate.’
    • ‘Thus, the selection of the emulsifier used in the preparation of bitumen emulsions is a critical factor in road making applications.’
    lotion, salve, application, preparation, rinse, liquid, liniment, embrocation, emulsion
    1. 1.1A fine dispersion of one liquid or pureed food substance in another.
      ‘ravioli with pea and ginger emulsion’
      • ‘The tantalising luncheon menu featured a starter of lemon infused monkfish brochette with a bell pepper emulsion followed by a consomme of chicken raviolis.’
      • ‘Once the egg emulsion is at the proper temperature, add hot milk to egg mixture, 1/8 of a cup at a time.’
      • ‘Such was the case with a recent special in which morel caps were stuffed with chicken mousse and served in an emulsion of foie gras and truffle juice.’
      • ‘Place in center of plate, surround with coconut curry emulsion, garnish with pear and almond mixture and serve.’
      • ‘Country cooking of the Mediterranean relied on breadcrumbs to help form an emulsion base for a cold sauce, also known as a rouille.’
      • ‘For the apple emulsion: In a small saucepan over medium-high heat combine juice and honey and reduce by two-thirds.’
      • ‘Common emulsions used in cookery are milk, cream, and butter, and made sauces such as mayonnaise.’
      • ‘Froth corn emulsion with hand blender.’
      • ‘Place sliced asparagus on top of the herb emulsion.’
      • ‘Creaming will occur over time with all emulsions in which there is a difference in the density of the two phases.’
      • ‘For the curry emulsion, in a deep saute pan heat the clarified butter over low heat.’
      • ‘Yogurt, ice cream, and whipped cream are also emulsions.’
      • ‘Crack the three or four eggs into a kitchen blender, whisk for thirty seconds and you get instant consistent pure egg emulsion every time!’
  • 2

    (also emulsion paint)
    British mass noun A type of paint used for walls, consisting of pigment bound in a synthetic resin which forms an emulsion with water.

    ‘three coats of white emulsion’
    • ‘We also went to the DIY store for garden stuff and for a big bucket of white emulsion paint to brighten up the walls in Graham's workshop.’
    • ‘Paint the tip with matt white emulsion paint and allow to dry.’
    • ‘The number had been daubed on the wall in off-white emulsion paint next to the boarded up front door.’
    • ‘Use matt white emulsion paint as an undercoat for the tip.’
    • ‘Sand the bed down to remove the varnish then apply one coat of emulsion paint in blue or dark pink.’
    • ‘For a while he stood in front of the Ironmonger's pretending to study the barbecue equipment, garden furniture, piled cans of emulsion paint.’
    • ‘Picture frames, bought cheaply from a homestore chain, can be painted in white emulsion to give a driftwood look.’
    • ‘He'd made it brighter by painting all the walls in lurid yellow emulsion.’
    • ‘Here's a basic guide: emulsion is a water-based paint for walls and ceilings, which comes in finishes including matt and silk.’
    • ‘If you can paint your walls, then do - any room will benefit from a refreshing coat of brilliant white emulsion and it is cheap too.’
    • ‘As a general rule, the sequence is primer and undercoat on the woodwork, followed by two coats of emulsion on the walls, then a careful top coat around the woodwork.’
    • ‘For a smooth finish on an even wall, use emulsion.’
    • ‘A handy tip is to give the walls one or two coats of emulsion or a coat of paste before you wallpaper.’
    • ‘Cement paints, masonry paints or exterior grade emulsion are suited to concrete surfaces.’
    • ‘However, white emulsion is a cheap way to freshen-up a room and presents a blank canvas to viewers who will already have their own ideas about how a home should look.’
    • ‘The walls are heavily decorated with paintings of Egyptian gods and goddesses, solar discs, blood-red emulsion and gold acrylic paint.’
    • ‘The amount of pigment to emulsion will vary from colour to colour.’
    1. 2.1A light-sensitive coating for photographic films and plates, containing crystals of a silver compound dispersed in a medium such as gelatin.
      ‘The silver halide crystals in a photographic emulsion are not perfect.’
      • ‘To make today's platinum prints, a photographer mixes the emulsion from platinum, gelatin and other ingredients, then hand coats a piece of fine art paper with the mixture.’
      • ‘He describes it as a universal developer for modern film emulsions used under diverse conditions, easy to use, and designed to achieve maximum image stain and minimum general stain.’
      • ‘The grain of photographic emulsion in camera film does much the same.’
      • ‘Most of these films have updated emulsions since this data sheet was published in 1982.’
      • ‘The idea is to create a dot pattern akin to the grains of the photographic emulsion.’
      • ‘Traditional photography utilizes negative film and positive prints that hold the image in an emulsion of silver for black and white or dyes for color.’
      • ‘To make the light-sensitive paper, a photographer mixes the emulsion for his platinum prints, then places it on art paper.’
      • ‘When the shutter of your camera opens for that fraction of a second, photons of light stream in and strike the silver halide grains suspended in the gelatin emulsion.’
      • ‘The radiolabelled object is then exposed to a photographic emulsion to obtain a map of radionuclide distribution.’
      • ‘Where there is color, the film has been exposed to light, and white is a ‘flare’ from outside on the sensitized emulsion of the film.’
      • ‘The workshop will cover all the camera-less techniques as well as the process of creating sound by scratching in an optical track onto the film emulsion.’
      • ‘In the photogravure process, the image is photochemically transferred to an etching plate that has been coated with a light-sensitive emulsion.’
      • ‘Indeed, this sense of starkness is echoed throughout the show; just 10 large scale gelatin silver emulsion prints were on show here.’
      • ‘This moisture is transferred from the subject to the emulsion surface of the photographic film and causes an alternation of the electric charge pattern on the film.’
      • ‘You can change the color of the image by toning or applying gum bichromate emulsions to a finished platinum print.’
      • ‘Other photographic emulsions may use other silver halides; for example silver chloride is used for any photography using infrared light.’
      • ‘That is due to the fact that when different photographic emulsions are used for these shots, they are usually chosen for their sensitivity, as well as their spectral range.’
      • ‘When I etched the film emulsion, I was looking for a way to animate without a camera.’
      • ‘The pressure plate inside the back has to be completely clean because the film emulsion runs across it.’
      mixture, mix, blend, compound, suspension, tincture, infusion, emulsion, colloid, gel, fluid


[with object] informal British
  • Paint with emulsion.

    • ‘if the lining paper is not opaque, the wall should also be emulsioned’
    • ‘If you've just spent time emulsioning your space in vogueish shades of cappuccino and hessian and are bewildered by this new passion for all things aquatic, blame him!’
    • ‘It is an honour to live in Morningside, as the man who emulsioned our hall pointed out when I moved here.’
    • ‘In this exalted strata of society, remuneration would presumably be along the lines of: ‘If you cure my backache, I'll emulsion your hallway on my day off.’’
    colour, apply paint to, decorate, tint, dye, stain, distemper, whitewash, emulsion, gloss, spray, spray-paint, airbrush, roller, coat, cover


Early 17th century (denoting a milky liquid made by crushing almonds in water): from modern Latin emulsio(n-), from the verb emulgere ‘milk out’, from e- (variant of ex-) ‘out’ + mulgere ‘to milk’.