Borax meaning

bôrăks, -əks
Cheap merchandise, especially tasteless furnishings.
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Cheap or tawdry, referring to furniture or other works of industrial design.
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A hydrated sodium borate, Na2 B4 O7 · 10H2 O, an ore of boron, that is used as a cleaning compound.
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A white or gray/grey crystalline salt, with a slight alkaline taste, used as a flux, in soldering metals, making enamels, fixing colors/colours on porcelain, and as a soap, etc.
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(chemistry) The sodium salt of boric acid, Na2B4O7, either anhydrous or with 5 or 10 molecules of water of crystallisation; sodium tetraborate.
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Sodium borate, a white, anhydrous, crystalline salt, Na2B4O7, with an alkaline taste, used as a flux in soldering metals and in the manufacture of glass, enamel, artificial gems, soaps, antiseptics, etc.
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Cheap, poorly made merchandise, esp. furniture.
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A white, crystalline powder and mineral used as an antiseptic, as a cleansing agent, and in fusing metals and making heat-resistant glass. The mineral is an ore of boron and also occurs in yellowish, blue, or green varieties. Chemical formula: Na2B4O7·10H2O.
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Origin of borax

  • Middle English from Medieval Latin bōrāx from Arabic būraq from Middle Persian būrak Sense 2, perhaps from the custom of giving away borax soap as a premium for the sale of cheap furniture

    From American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition

  • From Middle English boras, from Anglo-Norman boreis, from Medieval Latin baurach (“borax”), from Arabic بورق (báuraq), from Middle Persian (būrak). Compare Persian بوره (bure).

    From Wiktionary