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Emulsion. A colloidal (q.v.) dispersion of one liquid in another liquid when both are mutually immiscible, as water and oil. Water and oil emulsions are of two types, depending on which of the constituents forms the dispersed or internal phase and which the external or continuous phase. In the absence of a suitable surfactant (q.v.), an emulsion of this type tends to separate into distinctive layers through coalescence of its individual constituents.