Meaning of ALKALI in English


Pronunciation: ' al-k ə - ˌ l ī

Function: noun

Inflected Form: plural -lies or -lis

Etymology: Middle English, from Medieval Latin, from Arabic al-qili the ashes of the plant saltwort

Date: 14th century

1 : a soluble salt obtained from the ashes of plants and consisting largely of potassium or sodium carbonate broadly : a substance (as a hydroxide or carbonate of an alkali metal) having marked basic properties ― compare BASE 7a


3 : a soluble salt or a mixture of soluble salts present in some soils of arid regions in quantity detrimental to agriculture

Merriam Webster Collegiate English Dictionary.      Merriam Webster - Энциклопедический словарь английского языка.