- a highly concentrated, aqueous solution of potassium hydroxide or sodium hydroxide.
- any solution resulting from leaching, percolation, or the like.
Origin of lye
Examples from the Web for lyes
That's two lyes, Speak suddenly, for I am full of business.Din.The Little French Lawyer
You are a foole: She lyes, Madam, women marry husbands,To lye with other men.The Fatal Dowry
I list not to write any lyes, but that which I write, is as true as strange.The Works of Sir Thomas Browne (Volume 1 of 3)
Elliot reported that Clancarty ‘would stick at no lyes to bring about his schemes.’Pickle the Spy
In the testing of lyes one which is graduated from 0° to 50° B. is usually employed.Soap-Making Manual
E. G. Thomssen
- any solution obtained by leaching, such as the caustic solution obtained by leaching wood ash
- a concentrated solution of sodium hydroxide or potassium hydroxide
Word Origin and History for lyes
Old English læg, leag "lye," from Proto-Germanic *laugo (cf. Middle Dutch loghe, Dutch loog, Old High German louga, German Lauge "lye"), from PIE root *leue- "to wash" (see lave). The substance was formerly used in place of soap, hence Old High German luhhen "to wash," Old Norse laug "hot bath, hot spring," Danish lørdag, Swedish lördag "Saturday," literally "washing-day." Chamber-lye in early Modern English was the name for urine used as a detergent.
- A strong alkaline solution or solid of potassium hydroxide or sodium hydroxide, made by allowing water to wash through wood ashes. It is used to make soap and drain and oven cleaners. Chemical formula: KOH or NaOH.