- Physical Chemistry. a semirigid colloidal dispersion of a solid with a liquid or gas, as jelly, glue, etc.
- Theater. gelatin(def 5).
- Biochemistry. a semirigid polymer, as agarose, starch, cellulose acetate, or polyacrylamide, cast into slabs or cylinders for the electrophoretic separation of proteins and nucleic acids.
verb (used without object), gelled, gel·ling.
- to form or become a gel.
- jell(def 2).
- a semirigid jelly-like colloid in which a liquid is dispersed in a solidnondrip paint is a gel
- See hair gel
- theatre informal See gelatine (def. 4)
verb gels, gelling or gelled
- to become or cause to become a gel
- a variant spelling of jell
1899, as a chemical term, short for gelatin and perhaps influenced by jell. The invention of this word is credited to Scottish chemist Thomas Graham (1805-1869). Hair-styling sense is from 1958. The verb meaning “to become a gel” is attested by 1902; figurative sense is from 1958. Related: Gelled; gelling.
- A colloid in which the disperse phase combines with the dispersion medium to produce a semisolid material.
- To become a gel.
- To convert a sol into a gel.