A substance which lowers the surface tension
of the medium in which it is dissolved, and/or the interfacial tension
with other phases, and, accordingly, is positively adsorbed at the liquid/vapour and/or at other interfaces.
PAC, 1972, 31, 577
(Manual of Symbols and Terminology for Physicochemical Quantities and Units, Appendix II: Definitions, Terminology and Symbols in Colloid and Surface Chemistry)
on page 611
IUPAC. Compendium of Chemical Terminology, 2nd ed. (the "Gold Book"). Compiled by A. D. McNaught and A. Wilkinson. Blackwell Scientific Publications, Oxford (1997). XML on-line corrected version: http://goldbook.iupac.org (2006-) created by M. Nic, J. Jirat, B. Kosata; updates compiled by A. Jenkins. ISBN 0-9678550-9-8. doi:10.1351/goldbook