lye

play
noun \ˈlī\

Definition of lye

  1. 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. 2 :  a solid caustic (such as sodium hydroxide)

Recent Examples of lye from the Web

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.

Origin and Etymology of lye

Middle English, from Old English lēag; akin to Old High German louga lye, Latin lavare, lavere to wash, Greek louein


First Known Use: before 12th century

Other Chemical Engineering Terms



LYE Defined for English Language Learners

lye

play
noun

Definition of lye for English Language Learners

  • : a strong chemical that is used especially in making soap


LYE Defined for Kids

lye

play
noun \ˈlī\

Definition of lye for Students

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


Medical Dictionary

lye

play
noun \ˈlī\

Medical Definition of lye

  1. 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. 2:  a solid caustic (as sodium hydroxide)



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