alkali

noun
al·​ka·​li | \ ˈal-kə-ˌlī How to pronounce alkali (audio) \
plural alkalies or alkalis

Definition of alkali

1 : a soluble salt obtained from the ashes of plants and consisting largely of potassium or sodium carbonate broadly : a substance (such as a hydroxide or carbonate of an alkali metal) having marked basic properties — compare base sense 6a
3 : a soluble salt or a mixture of soluble salts present in some soils of arid regions in quantity detrimental to agriculture

Examples of alkali in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web In northwestern South Africa, near the border with Namibia, the dry lake has an alkali playa, or baked mud, surface and has been painstakingly cleared of all rocks. Washington Post, "Bloodhound aims to be world’s fastest car in South Africa," 8 Nov. 2019 Despite its water being three times saltier than the ocean, the lake supports throngs of migrating birds that feed on teeming alkali flies and brine shrimp. Doug Hansen, San Diego Union-Tribune, "Warm-weather adventures at Mammoth," 26 June 2019 Many of these cleaners contain corrosive alkalis, which can have grave effects on your gastrointestinal track and respiratory system if inhaled and can be deadly if swallowed. Lindsey Campbell, House Beautiful, "19 Dangerous Household Items You Should Quit Using Immediately," 15 Feb. 2019 Its widespread adoption could increase production at industrial chlor-alkali plants, which are known to emit mercury and other pollutants. Emily Atkin, WIRED, "The Powerful Groups Stonewalling a Greener Way to Die," 17 June 2018 Its widespread adoption could increase production at industrial chlor-alkali plants, which are known to emit mercury and other pollutants. Emily Atkin, WIRED, "The Powerful Groups Stonewalling a Greener Way to Die," 17 June 2018 Its widespread adoption could increase production at industrial chlor-alkali plants, which are known to emit mercury and other pollutants. Emily Atkin, WIRED, "The Powerful Groups Stonewalling a Greener Way to Die," 17 June 2018 Its widespread adoption could increase production at industrial chlor-alkali plants, which are known to emit mercury and other pollutants. Emily Atkin, WIRED, "The Powerful Groups Stonewalling a Greener Way to Die," 17 June 2018 Its widespread adoption could increase production at industrial chlor-alkali plants, which are known to emit mercury and other pollutants. Emily Atkin, WIRED, "The Powerful Groups Stonewalling a Greener Way to Die," 17 June 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'alkali.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of alkali

14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for alkali

Middle English, from Medieval Latin, from Arabic al-qili the ashes of the plant saltwort

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Time Traveler for alkali

Time Traveler

The first known use of alkali was in the 14th century

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Cite this Entry

“Alkali.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/alkali. Accessed 29 Feb. 2020.

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More Definitions for alkali

alkali

noun
How to pronounce alkali (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of alkali

chemistry : a substance that has a bitter taste and that forms a salt when mixed with an acid

alkali

noun
al·​ka·​li | \ ˈal-kə-ˌlī How to pronounce alkali (audio) \
plural alkalies or alkalis

Kids Definition of alkali

1 : a substance that has a bitter taste and reacts with an acid to form a salt : base
2 : a salt or a mixture of salts sometimes found in large amounts in the soil of dry regions

alkali

noun
al·​ka·​li | \ ˈal-kə-ˌlī How to pronounce alkali (audio) \
plural alkalies or alkalis

Medical Definition of alkali

: a substance (as a hydroxide or carbonate of an alkali metal) having marked basic properties — compare base

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More from Merriam-Webster on alkali

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with alkali

Spanish Central: Translation of alkali

Nglish: Translation of alkali for Spanish Speakers

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about alkali

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