Meaning of lye in English:


Pronunciation /lʌɪ/

Translate lye into Spanish


mass noun
  • A strongly alkaline solution, especially of potassium hydroxide, used for washing or cleansing.

    ‘Sodium hydroxide, NaOH, also known as lye and caustic soda, is one of the most important of all industrial chemicals.’
    • ‘For example, sodium oxide dissolved in water yields sodium hydroxide, or lye.’
    • ‘To make the Biodiesel, we heated the oil, then mixed in a measured solution of methanol and lye.’
    • ‘In oven cleaners, lye and sodium hydroxide can burn skin, eyes, and the respiratory tract.’
    • ‘From the age of 15 or so, I would have my hair straightened with such hair-loving products as lye and perm solution.’
    • ‘One of the most popular dishes is lutefisk, stockfish softened in a solution of lye.’
    • ‘One member created an alternative cement for the concrete floor of our sauna, using fly ash (from coal burning plants, not waste dumps!), citric acid, lye, and borax.’
    • ‘Other household items carried by the stores on wheels included washing powder, liniments, salve, and lye used for making soap.’
    • ‘One involves a chemical reaction: Mix the oil with methanol and lye, and you get a stable, vegetable-based fuel called biodiesel.’
    • ‘Technically detergents are called ‘Synthetic Detergents’ as they are not made from fats and lye from which soap is made.’
    • ‘If more alkalinity was needed, then borax, sodium metaborate, sodium carbonate, or even lye were used.’
    • ‘Because soap is made primarily from a caustic blend of boiled animal fat, lye and soda, it is highly alkaline.’
    • ‘The catalyst is usually a base, either lye (which is NaOH) or potassium hydroxide.’
    • ‘Most conventional whitening toothpastes use sodium or potassium hydroxides, also known as lye, which is considered a poison by the Food and Drug Administration.’
    • ‘Make soap using lye (from hardwood ash) and animal fat.’
    • ‘I told him about the time that Mother almost burned herself with lye from the soap we were making.’
    • ‘I set to work scrubbing on my green hair with the strongest lye soap, hoping for positive results.’
    • ‘When you mix ten parts oil with one part of methanol and a pinch of lye (the catalyst), the mixture settles out into about ten parts biodiesel and one part glycerine.’
    • ‘Chemistry fans take note: lye is also called caustic soda and sodium hydroxide, but most people just call it lye.’
    • ‘It's important to avoid conventional oven cleaners; they contain lye and ammonia, which can damage your respiratory tract if inhaled.’


Old English lēag, of Germanic origin: related to Dutch loog, German Lauge, also to lather.