Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition.

  • noun The liquid obtained by leaching wood ashes.

from The Century Dictionary.

  • noun A variant of lay.
  • An obsolete spelling of lie.
  • noun An obsolete variant of lee.
  • noun In a general sense, water charged with soluble solid matter by contact with a mixture of solid substances, partly soluble, partly insoluble.
  • noun Water impregnated with alkaline salt imbibed from the ashes of wood by the process of leaching; also, some solution of an alkali, as potash, which is itself the product of leached lye concreted by evaporation.
  • noun An obsolete spelling of lie.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English.

  • noun A strong caustic alkaline solution of potassium salts, obtained by leaching wood ashes. It is much used in making soap, etc.
  • noun (Chem.) Sodium hydroxide or potassium hydroxide, or a concentrated aqueous solution of either compound.
  • noun (Railroad), engraving A short side line, connected with the main line; a turn-out; a siding.
  • noun obsolete A falsehood.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.

  • noun A strong caustic alkaline solution of potassium or sodium salts, obtained by leaching wood ashes. It is much used in making soap as well as its use in biodiesel.
  • verb Obsolete spelling of lie.

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

  • noun a strong solution of sodium or potassium hydroxide

Etymologies

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

[Middle English lie, from Old English lēag; see leu(ə)- in Indo-European roots.]

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

From Old English lēag, from Proto-Germanic *laugō, from Proto-Indo-European *leu(ə)- (“to wash”).

Examples

Comments

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  • ...from the ashes of the burned scraps of the whale, a potent lye is readily made; and whenever any adhesiveness from the back of the whale remains clinging to the side, that lye quickly exterminates it.

    - Melville, Moby-Dick, ch. 98

    July 29, 2008