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Longman Dictionary of Contemporary English
▪ A different alkali would have been used for the manufacture of later soda glasses.
▪ Amines can be prepared by heating and alkyl ammonium salt with an alkali.
▪ By 1880 he was recognized as an international authority on alkali manufacture.
▪ Electron microprobe element maps show the distribution and quantity of alkali feldspar in the fine-grained groundmass of the altered basalts.
▪ In 1895 he entered the alkali business.
▪ This is consistent with glass technology at the time-the principal alkali used was also soda.
▪ When an acid and alkali react together the result is a salt and water.
The Collaborative International Dictionary

Alkali \Al"ka*li\ (?; 277), n.; pl. Alkalis or Alkalies. [F. alcali, ultimately fr. Ar. alqal[=i] ashes of the plant saltwort, fr. qalay to roast in a pan, fry.]

  1. Soda ash; caustic soda, caustic potash, etc.

  2. (Chem.) One of a class of caustic bases, such as soda, potash, ammonia, and lithia, whose distinguishing peculiarities are solubility in alcohol and water, uniting with oils and fats to form soap, neutralizing and forming salts with acids, turning to brown several vegetable yellows, and changing reddened litmus to blue.

  3. Soluble mineral matter, other than common salt, contained in soils of natural waters. [Western U. S.]

    Fixed alkalies, potash and soda.

    Vegetable alkalies. Same as Alkaloids.

    Volatile alkali, ammonia, so called in distinction from the fixed alkalies.

Douglas Harper's Etymology Dictionary

late 14c., "soda ash," from Medieval Latin alkali, from Arabic al-qaliy "the ashes, burnt ashes" (of saltwort, a plant growing in alkaline soils), from qala "to roast in a pan." The modern chemistry sense is from 1813.


n. 1 (context chemistry English) One of a class of caustic bases, such as soda, potash, ammonia, and lithia, whose distinguishing peculiarities are solubility in alcohol and water, uniting with oils and fats to form soap, neutralizing and forming salts with acids, turning to brown several vegetable yellows, and changing reddened litmus to blue. 2 Soda ash; caustic soda, caustic potash, etc.

  1. n. any of various water-soluble compounds capable of turning litmus blue and reacting with an acid to form a salt and water; "bases include oxides and hydroxides of metals and ammonia" [syn: base]

  2. a mixture of soluble salts found in arid soils and some bodies of water; detrimental to agriculture

  3. [also: alkalies (pl)]


In chemistry, an alkali (; from Arabic: al-qaly القلي, القالي , “ashes of the saltwort”) is a basic, ionic salt of an alkali metal or alkaline earth metal chemical element. An alkali also can be defined as a base that dissolves in water. A solution of a soluble base has a pH greater than 7.0. The adjectivealkaline is commonly, and alkalescent less often, used in English as a synonym for basic, especially for bases soluble in water. This broad use of the term is likely to have come about because alkalis were the first bases known to obey the Arrhenius definition of a base, and they are still among the most common bases.

Alkali (disambiguation)

The words "alkali" or "alkaline" or similar can be used to refer to:

  • Alkali, a specific type of chemical base
  • Alkalinity, a chemical concept
  • Alkali bee
  • alkali flat, a dry, alkaline lakebed
  • Alkali Springs, Oregon, USA
  • "Alkali" is the NATO reporting name of the Kaliningrad K-5 air-to-air missile.
  • Alkaline battery
  • Alkaline Trio, a punk band from Chicago.
  • Alkaline (musician), A Jamaican dancehall musician.
  • Al Kaline, baseball player
  • The Rub' al Khali, also known as the Great Sandy Desert
  • An island in Lake Abaya, Ethiopia
  • MC Alkaline, UK rapper, Gunshot

Usage examples of "alkali".

To convert, for example, a solution of a substance in hydrochloric acid into a solution of the same in acetic acid, alkali should be added in excess and then acetic acid.

Ay, I know you have arsenic, Vitriol, sal-tartar, argaile, alkali, Cinoper: I know all.

It includes Alkali Blue, Naphthylamine Blacks, Naphthol Green B, Indian Yellow, Croceine A Z, Croceine Orange, Orange R, Brilliant Croceine M, Rose Bengale, Thiocarmine R, Soluble Blue, Formyl Violet S 4 B, Acid Green, Croceine Orange G, Carmoisin, Acid Violet 5 B, Fast Acid Violet 10 B, Fast Green Bluish, Rhodamine, Silk Blue, Victoria Black, Archil, Turmeric, Safranine, Auramine, Quinoline Yellow, Azoflavine, Victoria Blue and Bismarck Brown.

Before determining the quantities of the particular alkali metals present, it is best to convert them altogether, either into chloride or sulphate, and to take the weight of the mixed salts.

Old cheese ameliorates Apples if eaten when crude, probably by reason of the volatile alkali, or ammonia of the cheese neutralizing the acids of the Apple.

It was along here somewhere that we first came across genuine and unmistakable alkali water in the road, and we cordially hailed it as a first-class curiosity, and a thing to be mentioned with eclat in letters to the ignorant at home.

They wore dusters and goggles to protect them from the alkali of the Llano Estacado, which blew into the open vehicle, sticking to their exposed skin and sifting down inside the scarves around their necks.

For the enlightenment of those who are not so intimately acquainted with the minutiae of the municipal abattoir as this morbidminded esthete and embryo philosopher who for all his overweening bumptiousness in things scientific can scarcely distinguish an acid from an alkali prides himself on being, it should perhaps be stated that staggering bob in the vile parlance of our lowerclass licensed victuallers signifies the cookable and eatable flesh of a calf newly dropped from its mother.

Sal Alkali and add as much warm water as will bring it to a due fluidity and a gold brown color for writing with a pen.

In fact making cocaine freebase was so simple that any number of chemicals could be used, the only key element being that you mix your coke with an alkali strong enough to leach off the hydrochloride.

The seeds contain abundantly a demulcent oil, whilst the petals furnish a glucoside which is colourless unless treated with alkalies, when it becomes of a golden yellow.

On all of these I made experiments with the chemical re-agents which appeared to me best adapted to the purpose, namely, alkalis both simple and phlogisticated, the mineral acids, and infusions of galls.

I was considering of the experiments to be made, in order to ascertain the composition of ancient inks, it occurred to me that perhaps one of the best methods of restoring legibility to decayed writing might be to join phlogisticated alkali with the remaining calx of iron, because, as the quantity of precipitate formed by these two substances very much exceeds that of the iron alone, the bulk of the colouring matter would thereby be greatly augmented.

Bergman was of opinion that the blue precipitate contains only between a fifth and a sixth part of its weight of iron, and though subsequent experiments tend to show that, in some cases at least, the proportion of iron is much greater, yet upon the whole it is certainly true, that if the iron left by the stroke of a pen were joined to the colouring matter of phlogisticated alkali, the quantity of Prussian blue thence resulting would be much greater than the quantity of black matter originally contained in the ink deposited by the pen, though perhaps the body of colour might not be equally augmented.

The manures termed superphosphate of lime, phosphate of potass, phosphate of soda, and phosphate of magnesia, were made by acting upon bone-ash by means of sulphuric acid in the first instance, and in the case-of the alkali salts and the magnesian one neutralizing the compound thus obtained by means of cheap preparations of the respective bases.