These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'lye.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.
First Known Use of lye
before the 12th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1
History and Etymology for lye
Middle English, from Old English lēag; akin to Old High German louga lye, Latin lavare, lavere to wash, Greek louein
1: a strong alkaline liquor rich in potassium carbonate leached from wood ashes and used especially in making soap and washingbroadly: a strong alkaline solution (as of sodium hydroxide or potassium hydroxide)