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 Here a workman lifts a drum from a boiling lye solution which has cleaned from it grease and dust particles, Parks’ original caption for the image which provides much more information and context about the dangerous, toxic nature of the work. Chadd Scott, Forbes, 8 June 2022 Sodium hydroxide, also known as caustic soda or lye, is one of the chemicals to be stored at the location. Phil Diehl, San Diego Union-Tribune, 5 May 2022 Pretzels get their sheen and distinct texture from being dipped in a mild lye solution before being baked. The Conversation, oregonlive, 26 Apr. 2022 During the investigation, police recovered muriatic acid, four bottles of Kleen-Out sulfuric acid and two bottles of lye from Blackwell's residence near South 13th Street and West Edgerton Avenue. Bruce Vielmetti, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, 25 Apr. 2022 State police say Imirowicz mixed a deadly concoction containing lye powder and drain cleaner and doused her father, who suffered severe burns all over his body and died in Genesys Hospital in Grand Blanc on March 6, The Oakland Press reported. People Staff, PEOPLE.com, 15 Mar. 2022 The hacker briefly changed the levels of lye in the water to poisonous levels before an employee caught and stopped the hacker. Kevin Collier, NBC News, 27 Jan. 2022 In a similar fashion to the candles, the ingredients are melted together — oils, butters and lye — to make the soap. Erik S. Hanley, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, 11 Jan. 2022 Commonly known as lye, it is used to reduce the water’s acidity. Peter Elkind, ProPublica, 17 Mar. 2021 See More

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

Learn More About lye

Time Traveler for lye

Time Traveler

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

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Dictionary Entries Near lye

lydite

lye

lye hominy

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Statistics for lye

Last Updated

19 Jul 2022

Cite this Entry

“Lye.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/lye. Accessed 10 Aug. 2022.

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More Definitions for lye

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)

More from Merriam-Webster on 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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