Definitions

from The American HeritageĀ® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • n. See potassium carbonate.
  • n. See potassium hydroxide.
  • n. Any of several compounds containing potassium, especially soluble compounds such as potassium oxide, potassium chloride, and various potassium sulfates, used chiefly in fertilizers.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. the water-soluble part of the ash formed by burning plant material; used for making soap, glass and as a fertilizer
  • n. an impure form of potassium carbonate (K2CO3) mixed with other potassium salts
  • n. in the names of compounds of the form "... of potash", potassium (for example, "permanganate of potash" = potassium permanganate)

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. The hydroxide of potassium hydrate, a hard white brittle substance, KOH, having strong caustic and alkaline properties; -- hence called also caustic potash.
  • n. The impure potassium carbonate obtained by leaching wood ashes, either as a strong solution (lye), or as a white crystalline (pearlash).

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. A substance obtained by leaching wood-ashes, evaporating the solution obtained, and calcining the residuum; one of the fixed alkalis; the so-called vegetable alkali; more or less impure or crude potassium carbonate, or carbonate of potash as formerly generally (and still very frequently) designated; any combination of which potassium forms the base, whether containing oxygen or not.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • n. a potassium compound often used in agriculture and industry

Etymologies

Sing. of obsolete pot ashes, translation of obsolete Dutch potaschen (from the fact that this substance was originally obtained by leaching wood ashes and evaporating the leach in a pot).
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
Potash comes from the word potasch (in modern spelling potas), coined by the Dutch in 1598. The literal translation is pot ash, because it was made by burning wood to ashes in a large pot. The English word Potash dates back to 1648. (Wiktionary)

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