Epsom salt

  1. Often Epsom salts. Chemistry, Pharmacology. hydrated magnesium sulfate, MgSO4⋅7H2O, occurring as small colorless crystals: used in fertilizers, the dyeing of fabrics, leather tanning, etc., and in medicine chiefly as a cathartic.

Origin of Epsom salt

1760–70; after Epsom; so called from its presence in the local mineral water
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

British Dictionary definitions for epsom salts

Epsom salts

  1. (functioning as singular or plural) a medicinal preparation of hydrated magnesium sulphate, used as a purgative

Word Origin for Epsom salts

C18: named after Epsom, where they occur naturally in the water
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

Word Origin and History for epsom salts

Epsom salts

magnesium sulphate, 1770, obtained from Epsom water, the water of a mineral spring at Epsom in Surrey, England, the medicinal properties of which were discovered in Elizabethan times. The place name is recorded c.973 as Ebbesham, literally "Ebbi's homestead," from the name of some forgotten Anglo-Saxon. The mineral supply there was exhausted 19c.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

epsom salts in Medicine

Epsom salts

  1. Hydrated magnesium sulfate, used as a cathartic and as an agent to reduce inflammation.
The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.

epsom salts in Science

Epsom salts

  1. A bitter, colorless, crystalline salt, used in making textiles, in fertilizers, for medical purposes, and as an additive to bath water to soothe the skin. Chemical formula: MgSO4·7H2O.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary Copyright © 2011. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.