- 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 lye
Another discusses being bathed by her grandmother as a child with lye soap in an effort to lighten her complexion.Beyonce and the Myth of Black Beauty
March 2, 2012
When it is full, we pour the water in it, and catch the lye as it drips out.In the Midst of Alarms
Turn them frequently while in the lye, and wipe them dry afterwards.Directions for Cookery, in its Various Branches
Colours dyed in this way become fixed, and no soap or lye will ever wash them out.The Republic
The strong bases, like lye and caustic soda, are also called alkalies.
Her little boy was playing near, and some lye splashed on his hand.
- 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 lye
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.