noun, plural al·ka·lis, al·ka·lies.
- 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.
Origin of alkali
Examples from the Web for alkali
"Yes, good crop that—'nough to stuff a mattress with; looks better to-day than when it's full of alkali dust," replied the Major.John Ermine of the Yellowstone|Frederic Remington
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
After that we had plenty of buffalo meat, and for eight or ten days we had nothing else, and only alkali water to drink.Then and Now|Robert Vaughn
Ammonia is also active, but not quite in the same manner as the alkali hydroxides.
All chemical leavening agents are Similar in their action, and they are composed of an acid and an alkali.Woman's Institute Library of Cookery, Vol. 1|Woman's Institute of Domestic Arts and Sciences
British Dictionary definitions for alkali
noun plural -lis or -lies
Word Origin for alkali
Word Origin and History for alkali
late 14c., "soda ash," from Medieval Latin alkali, from Arabic al-qaliy "the ashes, burnt ashes" (of saltwort, a plant growing in alkaline soils), from qala "to roast in a pan." The modern chemistry sense is from 1813.