Definitions

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

  • n. A soft, silver-white, highly or explosively reactive metallic element that occurs in nature only in compounds. It is obtained by electrolysis of its common hydroxide and found in, or converted to, a wide variety of salts used especially in fertilizers and soaps. Atomic number 19; atomic weight 39.098; melting point 63.65°C; boiling point 774°C; specific gravity 0.862; valence 1. See Table at element.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. A soft, waxy, silvery reactive metal that is never found unbound in nature; an element (symbol K) with an atomic number of 19 and atomic weight of 39.0983. The symbol is derived from the Latin kalium.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. An Alkali element, occurring abundantly but always combined, as in the chloride, sulphate, carbonate, or silicate, in the minerals sylvite, kainite, orthoclase, muscovite, etc. Atomic weight 39.0. Symbol K (Kalium).

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. Chemical symbol, K (for kalium); atomic weight, 39.1. The metallic base of the alkali potash, a substance not occurring uncombined in nature, but in various combinations widely diffused and of the highest importance. See potash.

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

  • n. a light soft silver-white metallic element of the alkali metal group; oxidizes rapidly in air and reacts violently with water; is abundant in nature in combined forms occurring in sea water and in carnallite and kainite and sylvite

Etymologies

From potash (from which it was first obtained).
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
From potassa ("potash") + -ium. (Wiktionary)

Examples

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