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 important thing to keep running was the fan that pumped air through a canister of sodium hydroxide. Robert Kunzig, Discover Magazine, 11 Nov. 2019 Supposedly, gentler, no-lye relaxers (without sodium hydroxide that can cause chemical burns) are also available, but Lane says the propensity for damage is still high. Tayler Adigun, Allure, 4 Oct. 2023 According to the Pinellas County Sheriff, a hacker gained remote access to Oldsmar’s water-treatment-plant network and briefly increased the amount of sodium hydroxide in the water by 100 times—enough to cause death or serious injury to anyone who drank or touched it. Dave Weinstein, WSJ, 26 Feb. 2021 Meanwhile, a group at Northwestern University in Evanston, Illinois has been working on breaking PFAS bonds into innocuous compounds that can naturally decompose, using low heat, a solvent, and sodium hydroxide, also known as lye, the basis of some soaps. Manasee Wagh, Popular Mechanics, 18 July 2023 In November 2019, a man scaled the wall of a kindergarten in the southwestern province of Yunnan and attacked it with sodium hydroxide, leaving more than 50 children with burn injuries. Larissa Gao, NBC News, 10 July 2023 Most of these entered the waste as an unintended consequence of using cheap sodium hydroxide, Kruger said. Valerie Brown, Discover Magazine, 28 Sep. 2018 The operator watched as the intruder clicked into various software programs before landing on a function that controls the amount of sodium hydroxide, or lye, in the plant’s water system. Hayley Smith, Los Angeles Times, 8 May 2023 Scrubbers are designed to neutralize pollution by injecting a liquid — sodium hydroxide in this case — that reacts with hazardous chemicals to form less dangerous or benign emissions. oregonlive, 23 Feb. 2023 See More

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'sodium hydroxide.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

First Known Use

1885, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of sodium hydroxide was in 1885

Dictionary Entries Near sodium hydroxide

Cite this Entry

“Sodium hydroxide.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 5 Dec. 2023.

Kids Definition

sodium hydroxide

: a white brittle solid that is strongly alkaline and is used especially in making soap, rayon, and paper

Medical Definition

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

More from Merriam-Webster on sodium hydroxide

Last Updated: - Updated example sentences
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