- 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 Webster'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 The imported definitions may be significantly out of date, and any more recent senses may be completely missing.