any of various bases, the hydroxides of the alkali metals and of ammonium, that neutralize acids to form salts and turn red litmus paper blue.
any of various other more or less active bases, as calcium hydroxide.
(not in technical use) an alkali metal.
Obsolete. any of various other compounds, as the carbonates of sodium and potassium.
Agriculture. a soluble mineral salt or a mixture of soluble salts, present in some soils, especially in arid regions, and detrimental to the growing of most crops.
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023
How to use alkali in a sentence
It starts by trapping atoms—often alkali metals—in a magnetic cage, then shooting a laser at them.How the world’s first ‘quantum tornadoes’ came to be | Rahul Rao | January 17, 2022 | Popular-Science
For example, the far-left column contains sodium and the other so-called alkali metals.
However incidental case reports show that milk-alkali syndrome still pops up from time-to-time, and often it stems from taking far too much calcium carbonate, or Tums.
Hydrolysis of polyester is a chemical reaction that occurs when polyesters decompose, it can occur with alkalis and acids, hence the need for stomach acids from a cow’s rumen to potentially dissolve plastics.Microbes found in cow stomachs could help solve our plastic problem | Sara Kiley Watson | July 13, 2021 | Popular-Science
Both alkaline and alkali come from the Arabic word “al-qili.”
What appears to be ground glass is only the little crystals or small particles of alkali that have not been dissolved.Tobacco; Its History, Varieties, Culture, Manufacture and Commerce | E. R. Billings.
He was one of the men to whom alkali is a constant poison, and his lips were always cracked and bleeding.Mystery Ranch | Arthur Chapman
He had come away in the sour mood of a thirsty man who finds an alkali spring sparkling deceptively under a rock.Cabin Fever | B. M. Bower
Talpers flushed angrily, and then grinned, until his alkali-cracked lips glistened in the lamplight.Mystery Ranch | Arthur Chapman
Now, cations other than the alkali ions are liable to interfere with tests designed for alkaline or neutral solutions.The Elements of Qualitative Chemical Analysis, vol. 1, parts 1 and 2. | Julius Stieglitz
British Dictionary definitions for alkali
chem a soluble base or a solution of a base
a soluble mineral salt that occurs in arid soils and some natural waters
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
Scientific definitions for alkali
A hydroxide of an alkali metal. The aqueous solution of alkalis is bitter, slippery, caustic, and characteristically basic in reactions.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary Copyright © 2011. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
Cultural definitions for alkali
The New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.