View your list of saved words. (You can log in using Facebook.)
Alkaline (seealkali) liquid extracted by soaking wood ashes in water, commonly used for washing and in making soap. More generally, lye is any strong alkaline solution or solid, such as sodium hydroxide (caustic soda) or potassium hydroxide (caustic potash).
This entry comes from Encyclopædia Britannica Concise. For the full entry on lye, visit Britannica.com.