lye

noun
\ ˈlī How to pronounce lye (audio) \

Definition of lye

1 : a strong alkaline liquor rich in potassium carbonate leached from wood ashes and used especially in making soap and for washing broadly : a strong alkaline solution (as of sodium hydroxide or potassium hydroxide)
2 : a solid caustic (such as sodium hydroxide)

Examples of lye in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web

Inside the chemical reaction class, Claire Lee stirred a heated pot to combine a mixture of oils and lye. Mike Glenn, Houston Chronicle, "Katy ISD holds summer STEM camp," 17 June 2019 The liquid commonly used for unclogging sinks, tubs and other drains contains sodium hydroxide or lye, which can be used for dissolving organic matter. Washington Post, "Testimony: Suspect bought Drano after Chinese scholar death," 14 June 2019 The Orlando Sentinel reported that some of the bottles contained lye and cleaning supplies. Michael Bartiromo, Fox News, "'Suspicious' liquids found at Orlando Airport sicken 4 TSA officers, send 2 to hospital," 15 Aug. 2018 During alkaline hydrolysis, the pet’s body is placed in a pressurized vessel that is filled with water and lye, then heated. Ace Ratcliff, SELF, "Pet Euthanasia at Home: 6 Ways to Make Putting Down Your Pet Easier on Them—and You," 25 Oct. 2018 There’s her parents: Katie, the janitress breadwinner, her hands scarred from soda-and-lye wash, and Johnny, a part-time singing waiter prone to spontaneous waltzes and bursts of whistling—boyishly handsome, and hopelessly alcoholic. Allie Spensley, WSJ, "A Tale of Roots and Resilience," 5 Oct. 2018 In 2009, Ocegueda's group was one of the first to turn up evidence that drug cartels sometimes dissolved victims in lye and other corrosive chemicals. Fox News, "In bloodied Mexico, ambivalence, hope over amnesty proposal," 23 July 2018 Pretzel buns Time: 1 hour, 20 minutes plus rising time Yield: Makes 8 buns Food-grade lye is the classic wash for pretzels. Noelle Carter, charlotteobserver, "Grilling burgers this summer? Up your game with these homemade bun recipes," 6 July 2018 Aquamation uses lye, not acid, and similar fluids are flushed down the drain during the embalming process. Michelle Weber, Longreads, "Looking for a Greener Death," 20 June 2018

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.

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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

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Statistics for lye

Last Updated

3 Jul 2019

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Time Traveler for lye

The first known use of lye was before the 12th century

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More Definitions for lye

lye

noun

English Language Learners Definition of lye

: a strong chemical that is used especially in making soap

lye

noun
\ ˈlī How to pronounce lye (audio) \

Kids Definition of lye

: a dangerous compound that is used in cleaning and in making soap

lye

noun
\ ˈlī How to pronounce lye (audio) \

Medical Definition of lye

1 : a strong alkaline liquor rich in potassium carbonate leached from wood ashes and used especially in making soap and washing broadly : a strong alkaline solution (as of sodium hydroxide or potassium hydroxide)
2 : a solid caustic (as sodium hydroxide)

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More from Merriam-Webster on lye

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with lye

Spanish Central: Translation of lye

Nglish: Translation of lye for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of lye for Arabic Speakers

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about lye

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