- The definition of lye is an alkaline solution that is often a mix of potassium or hydroxide or sodium which is generally used for cleaning.
A strongly alkaline solution used to make soap is an example of lye.
- Obsolete a strong, alkaline solution obtained by leaching wood ashes
- any strongly alkaline substance, usually sodium or potassium hydroxide, used in cleaning, making soap, etc.
- any substance obtained by leaching
Origin of lyeMiddle English lie ; from Old English leag, akin to German lauge ; from Indo-European base an unverified form lou-, to lave
(countable and uncountable, plural lyes)
- Obsolete spelling of lie.
- (UK, railways) A short side line, connected with the main line; a turn-out; a siding.
Part or all of this entry has been imported from the 1913 edition of Websterâ€™s Dictionary, which is now free of copyright and hence in the public domain. The imported definitions may be significantly out of date, and any more recent senses may be completely missing.