See more synonyms for potash on Thesaurus.com
  1. potassium carbonate, especially the crude impure form obtained from wood ashes.
  2. potassium hydroxide.
  3. the oxide of potassium, K2O.
  4. potassium, as carbonate of potash.

Origin of potash

1615–25; back formation from plural pot-ashes, translation of early Dutch potasschen. See pot1, ash1
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Related Words for potash

manure, mulch, dung, compost, maul, guano, humus, potash

Examples from the Web for potash

Historical Examples of potash

  • 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.

British Dictionary definitions for potash


  1. another name for potassium carbonate, esp the form obtained by leaching wood ash
  2. another name for potassium hydroxide
  3. potassium chemically combined in certain compoundschloride of potash

Word Origin for potash

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

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

potash in Medicine


  1. Any of several compounds containing potassium, especially soluble compounds such as potassium oxide and various potassium sulfates, used chiefly in fertilizers.
  2. potassium carbonate
  3. potassium hydroxide
The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.

potash in Science


  1. 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 © 2011. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.