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[pot-ash] /ˈpɒtˌæʃ/
potassium carbonate, especially the crude impure form obtained from wood ashes.
potassium hydroxide.
the oxide of potassium, K 2 O.
potassium, as carbonate of potash.
Origin of potash
early Dutch
1615-25; back formation from plural pot-ashes, translation of early Dutch potasschen. See pot1, ash1 Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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Examples from the Web for potash
Historical Examples
  • Crystals of iodine as opposed to permanganate of potash for antiseptic he discussed.

    The Leopard Woman Stewart Edward White
  • This composition is simply a mixture of phosphorus, glue, and chlorate of potash.

    The Story of a Tinder-box Charles Meymott Tidy
  • The most important are carbonate of soda, potash, and cyanide of potassium.

  • They knew also how to combine mercury, sulphur and potash to produce vermilion.

    Chinese Painters Raphael Petrucci
  • The object of Mason was to carry on the manufacture of potash.

    Cattle and Their Diseases Robert Jennings
  • potash is obtained in Germany, where it is found in several forms.

    Agriculture for Beginners Charles William Burkett
  • They dye good but fugitive red with bichromate of potash, or alum.

    Vegetable Dyes

    Ethel M. Mairet
  • Nitre, or "nitrate," is a native nitrate of potash, or nitrate of soda.

    Commercial Geography

    Jacques W. Redway
  • We use a kind of potash soap which we are sure is of the best make.

    The Story of Wool Sara Ware Bassett
  • When nitre is burned with sulphur, the product is sulphate of potash, etc.

    Museum of Antiquity L. W. Yaggy
British Dictionary definitions for potash


another name for potassium carbonate, esp the form obtained by leaching wood ash
another name for potassium hydroxide
potassium chemically combined in certain compounds: chloride of potash
Word Origin
C17 pot ashes, translation of obsolete Dutch potaschen; so called because originally obtained by evaporating the lye of wood ashes in pots
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for potash

1751, earlier -pot-ashes (1640s), a loan-translation of older Dutch potaschen, literally "pot ashes" (16c.); so called because it was originally obtained by soaking wood ashes in water and evaporating the mixture in an iron pot. Cf. German Pottasche, Danish potaske, Swedish pottaska, all also from Dutch. See also potassium. French potasse (1570s), Italian potassa are Germanic loan-words. The original plural was pot-ashes.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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potash in Medicine

potash pot·ash (pŏt'āsh')

  1. Any of several compounds containing potassium, especially soluble compounds such as potassium oxide and various potassium sulfates, used chiefly in fertilizers.

  2. See potassium carbonate.

  3. See potassium hydroxide.

The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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potash in Science
Any of several chemical compounds that contain potassium, especially potassium carbonate (K2CO3), which is a strongly alkaline material obtained from wood ashes and used in fertilizers.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary
Copyright © 2002. Published by Houghton Mifflin. All rights reserved.
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