[lahy] /laɪ/

noun, Chemistry.
a highly concentrated, aqueous solution of potassium hydroxide or sodium hydroxide.
any solution resulting from leaching, percolation, or the like.
any solution obtained by leaching, such as the caustic solution obtained by leaching wood ash
a concentrated solution of sodium hydroxide or potassium hydroxide

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.

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