any of a group of substances that when added to water containing calcium and magnesium ions cause the ions to precipitate or change their usual properties: used in the purification of water for the laboratory, and for giving water more efficient sudsing ability with soap.
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Also called softener.
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019
British Dictionary definitions for water softener
any substance that lessens the hardness of water, usually by precipitating or absorbing calcium and magnesium ions
a tank, apparatus, or chemical plant that is used to filter or treat water to remove chemicals that cause hardness
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