[ ə'məʊnɪə ]
■ noun a colourless, intensely pungent gas which dissolves in water to give a strongly alkaline solution. [NH 3 .]
↘a solution of ~, used as a cleaning fluid.
The word ~ was applied in the 18th century to the gas obtained from sal ~c (ammonium chloride), a term which derives from Latin sal ~cus 'salt of Ammon'. This name refers to the salt obtained in ancient times near the temple of Jupiter Ammon at Siwa in Egypt ( Ammon is a romanized version of the name of the supreme god of the ancient Egyptians, Amun ). Ammonite is also connected with Jupiter Ammon: the word comes from Latin cornu Ammonis 'horn of Ammon', because of the fossil's resemblance to the ram's horn associated with the god.