AL'KALI, n. plu. AlkaliesIn chimistry, a term applied to all bodies which possess the following properties:1. a caustic taste;2. volatilizable by heat;3. capability of combining with acids, and of destroying their acidity;4. solubility in water, even when combined with carbonic acid;5. capability of converting vegetable blues to green.The term was formerly confined to three substances:1. potash or vegetable fixed alkali, generally obtained from the ashes of wood;2. soda or mineral fixed alkali, which is found in the earth and procured from marine plants; and 3. ammonia or volatile alkali, an animal product.Modern chimistry has discovered many new substances to which the term is now extended.The alkalies were formerly considered as elementary substances; but it is now ascertained that they are all compounds.The alkalies are used in the manufacture of glass and soap, in bleaching and in medicine.
AL'KA-LI, n. [plur. Alkalies. Ar. قلي kali, with the common prefix, the plant called glass wort, from its use in the manufacture of glass; or the ashes of the plant, which seems to be its primitive sense, for the verb signifies to fry.]
A salifiable base, having in a greater or less degree a peculiar acrid taste, the power of changing blue vegetable colors to a green, and the color of turmeric and rhubarb, to a brown. Some chimists comprehend all salifiable bases under this name.
- Soda ash; caustic soda, caustic potash, etc.
- Soluble mineral
matter, other than common salt, contained in soils of natural
- 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