sodium hydroxide


Definition of sodium hydroxide

: a white brittle solid NaOH that is a strong caustic base used especially in making soap, rayon, and paper

Examples of sodium hydroxide in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web The American manufacturer of ammunition, chlorine, and sodium hydroxide was founded in 1892. Fortune, "Earnings Per Share (Last Fiscal Year)," 1 July 2019 The bottle is charged for six minutes to electrolyze it, creating a solution that looks like water but is a mix of hypochlorous acid (a powerful disinfectant) and sodium hydroxide (which works as a detergent and cuts through grease). Janelle Nanos,, "A Burlington startup lets you make your own nontoxic cleaners at home," 20 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 This shouldn’t be surprising, given the ingredients in hair products, including formaldehyde (known carcinogen), toluene (neurological and developmental toxicant), sodium hydroxide (lye), and triphenyl phosphate (suspected endocrine disruptor). Longreads, "True Roots," 5 June 2019 Panicked, the lawsuit says, Traci Hall ran back into the restaurant and learned that an employee had filled her cup from a spigot that dispenses sodium hydroxide, a powerful solvent used to clean commercial cooking equipment. Jeanne Houck,, "Lawsuit: First Watch employee put degreaser in pregnant woman's drink," 14 June 2018 Their approach is to treat blocks of wood with sodium hydroxide and sodium sulphate in a chemical process similar to that used to remove lignin from papermaking pulp. The Economist, "Making buildings, cars and planes from materials based on plant fibres," 14 June 2018 Using a main ingredient of sodium hydroxide, lithium hydroxide, potassium hydroxide, or guanidine hydroxide, chemical relaxers break and restructure the bonds in curly hair so that the hair becomes weaker and straight. Ashley Weatherford, The Cut, "The Everything Guide to Keratin Treatments," 15 May 2018 If the alkali is sodium hydroxide, the result is a hard soap, relatively difficult to dissolve. C. Claiborne Ray, New York Times, "In Your Bathroom, the Scum of the Earth," 6 Apr. 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'sodium hydroxide.' 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 sodium hydroxide

1885, in the meaning defined above

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The first known use of sodium hydroxide was in 1885

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sodium hydroxide


Medical Definition of sodium hydroxide

: a white brittle deliquescent solid NaOH that dissolves readily in water to form a strongly alkaline and caustic solution and that is used in pharmacy as an alkalizing agent

called also caustic soda

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