AskDefine | Define gel

Dictionary Definition



1 a colloid in a more solid form than a sol [syn: colloidal gel]
2 a thin translucent membrane used over stage lights for color effects [syn: gelatin]


1 become a gel; "The solid, when heated, gelled"
2 apply a styling gel to; "she mousses her hair" [syn: mousse] [also: gelling, gelled]

User Contributed Dictionary

see Gel


Etymology 1

From etyl la gelu or gelatus.


  • , /dʒɛl/, /dZEl/
  • Rhymes with: -ɛl
  • homophones jell


  1. A semi-solid to almost solid colloid of a solid and a liquid, such as jelly, cheese or opal.
  2. Any gel intended for a particular cosmetic use, such as for styling the hair.
suspension of solid in liquid
any gel for a particular cosmetic use
  • Dutch: gel
  • Finnish: geeli
  • French: gel
  • German: Gel
  • Hebrew: ג'ל (djel) , תקריש (takrísh)
  • Hungarian: gél, zselé
See also
For more information on classification of colloids, see Wikipedia article on w colloids


  1. To apply (cosmetic) gel to (the hair, etc).
  2. To become a gel.
apply cosmetic gel
become gel

Etymology 2

Imitative of upper-class British pronunciation of girl.


  • , /gɛl/, /gEl/


  1. A girl.





  • /ʒɛl/|lang=nl or



From gelu



fr-noun m



From Common Turkic *|käl

Verb form


Extensive Definition

Other, less common uses include
Common ingredients are e.g. polyvinyl alcohol, sodium polyacrylate, acrylate polymers and copolymers with an abundance of hydrophilic groups.
Natural hydrogel materials are being investigated for tissue engineering, these materials include agarose, methylcellulose, hylaronan, and other naturally derived polymers.


An organogel is a non-crystalline, non-glassy thermoreversible solid materials composed of a liquid organic phase entrapped in a structuring network. The liquid can be e.g. an organic solvent, a mineral oil or a vegetable oil. The solubility and particle dimensions of the structurant are important characteristics for the elastic properties and firmness of the organogel. Often, these systems are based on self-assembly of the structurant molecules.
Organogels have raised interest for use in a number of applications, such as in pharmaceutics , cosmetics, art conservation, and food. An example of formation of an undesired thermoreversible network is the occurrence of wax crystallisation in crude oil .


A xerogel ['zIrə,dʒεl] is a solid formed from a gel by drying with unhindered shrinkage. Xerogels usually retain high porosity (25%) and enormous surface area (150-900 m2/g), along with very small pore size (1-10 nm). When solvent removal occurs under hypercritical (supercritical) conditions, the network does not shrink and a highly porous, low-density material known as an aerogel is produced. Heat treatment of a xerogel at elevated temperature produces viscous sintering (shrinkage of the xerogel due to a small amount of viscous flow) and effectively transforms the porous gel into a dense glass.


Many gels display thixotropy - they become fluid when agitated, but resolidify when resting. In general, gels are apparently solid, jelly-like materials. By replacing the liquid with gas it is possible to prepare aerogels, materials with exceptional properties including very low density, high specific surface areas, and excellent thermal insulation properties.

Sound-Induced Gelation

Sound induced gelation is described in 2005 in an organopalladium compound that in solution transforms from a transparent liquid to an opaque gel upon application of a short burst (seconds) of ultrasound. Heating to above the so-called gelation temperature Tgel takes the gel back to the solution. The compound is a dinuclear palladium complex made from palladium acetate and a N,N'-Bis-salicylidene diamine. Both compounds react to form an anti conformer (gelling) and a syn conformer (non-gelling) which are separated by column chromatography. In the solution phase the dimer molecules are bent and self-locked by aromatic stacking interactions whereas in the gel phase the conformation is planar with interlocked aggregates. The anti conformer has planar chirality and both enantiomers were separated by chiral column chromatography. The (-) anti conformer has a specific rotation of -375° but is unable to gelate by itself. In the gel phase the dimer molecules form stacks of alternating (+) and (-) components. This process starts at the onset of the sonication and proceeds even without further sonication.


Many substances can form gels when a suitable thickener or gelling agent is added to their formula. This approach is common in manufacture of wide range of products, from foods to paints, adhesives.
In fiber optics communications, a soft gel resembling "hair gel" in viscosity is used to fill the plastic tubes containing the fibers. The main purpose of the gel is to prevent water intrusion if the buffer tube is breached, but the gel also buffers the fibers against mechanical damage when the tube is bent around corners during installation, or flexed. Additionally, the gel acts as a processing aid when the cable is being constructed, keeping the fibers central whist the tube material is extruded around it.

Hair Gel

Hair gel is a hairstyling product that is used to stiffen hair into a particular hairstyle. The results it produces are usually similar to but stronger than those of hair spray and weaker than those of hair glue or hair wax.


Many brands of hair gel in North America and the UK come in numbered variants. Higher numbered gels maintain a greater "hold" on hair, while lower numbers do not make the hair as stiff and in some products give the hair a wet look. A category typically referred to as "ethnic" gels are designed and manufactured specifically for sculpting the hair texture common to African Americans. Ampro Industries is a common example of this category.
Some forms of hair gel include temporary hair colouring for the hair, including variants in unnatural colors.


gel in Bosnian: Gel
gel in Czech: Gel
gel in Danish: Gel
gel in German: Gel
gel in Spanish: Gel
gel in Esperanto: Ĝelo
gel in Galician: Xel
gel in Indonesian: Gel
gel in Italian: Gel
gel in Dutch: Gel
gel in Japanese: 分散系#.E3.82.B2.E3.83.AB
gel in Norwegian: Gel (kjemi)
gel in Polish: Żel
gel in Portuguese: Gel
gel in Russian: Гели
gel in Slovenian: Gel
gel in Finnish: Geeli
gel in Swedish: Gel
gel in Vietnamese: Gel
gel in Ukrainian: Гелі

Synonyms, Antonyms and Related Words

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