Origin of alum1
1275–1325; Middle English < Anglo-French < Latin alūmen; replacing Old English alefne, ælifnæ < Old Welsh (compare MWelsh elyf) < Latin alūmini- (stem of alūmen)
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018
- Also called: potash alum a colourless soluble hydrated double sulphate of aluminium and potassium used in the manufacture of mordants and pigments, in dressing leather and sizing paper, and in medicine as a styptic and astringent. Formula: K 2 SO 4 .Al 2 (SO 4) 3 .24H 2 O
- any of a group of isomorphic double sulphates of a monovalent metal or group and a trivalent metal. Formula: X 2 SO 4 .Y 2 (SO 4) 3 .24H 2 O, where X is monovalent and Y is trivalent
C14: from Old French, from Latin alūmen
Word Origin and History for potassium-alum
late 14c., "whitish mineral salt used as an astringent, dye, etc.," from Old French alum, from Latin alumen "alum," literally "bitter salt," cognate with Greek aludoimos "bitter" and perhaps with English ale.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
- Any of various double sulfates of a trivalent metal such as aluminum or iron and a univalent metal such as potassium or sodium that are used as topical astringents and styptics.
- Any of various crystalline double salts of a trivalent metal (such as aluminum, chromium, or iron) and a monovalent metal (such as potassium or sodium), especially aluminum potassium sulfate. Alum is widely used in industry as a hardener and purifier, and in medicine as an emetic and to stop bleeding.
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