A name originating before the middle ages that originally referred to the liquid obtained by leaching wood ashes. The leachate, a highly caustic solution containing primarily potassium hydroxide, was used for cleaning. Later, the term lye was used to refer to any highly caustic solution and today, it is generally considered to mean sodium hydroxide.
Synonyms and Related Terms
ley; caustic soda; sodium hydroxide; potassium hydroxide