lye

noun
\ˈlī \

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

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 Aquamation uses lye, not acid, and similar fluids are flushed down the drain during the embalming process. Emily Atkin, WIRED, "The Powerful Groups Stonewalling a Greener Way to Die," 17 June 2018 Aquamation uses lye, not acid, and similar fluids are flushed down the drain during the embalming process. Emily Atkin, WIRED, "The Powerful Groups Stonewalling a Greener Way to Die," 17 June 2018 Aquamation uses lye, not acid, and similar fluids are flushed down the drain during the embalming process. Emily Atkin, WIRED, "The Powerful Groups Stonewalling a Greener Way to Die," 17 June 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 Aquamation uses lye, not acid, and similar fluids are flushed down the drain during the embalming process. Emily Atkin, WIRED, "The Powerful Groups Stonewalling a Greener Way to Die," 17 June 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 Aquamation uses lye, not acid, and similar fluids are flushed down the drain during the embalming process. 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 '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

9 Oct 2018

Look-up Popularity

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 \

Kids Definition of lye

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

lye

noun
\ˈlī \

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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