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See also: lyé and -lye



Etymology 1[edit]

From Old English lēag, from Proto-Germanic *laugō, from Proto-Indo-European *lewh₃- (to wash).


lye (countable and uncountable, plural lyes)

  1. An alkaline liquid made by leaching ashes (usually wood ashes).
  2. Potassium or sodium hydroxide (caustic soda).
Derived terms[edit]
The translations below need to be checked and inserted above into the appropriate translation tables, removing any numbers. Numbers do not necessarily match those in definitions. See instructions at Wiktionary:Entry layout#Translations.

Further reading[edit]

Etymology 2[edit]

(This etymology is missing or incomplete. Please add to it, or discuss it at the Etymology scriptorium.)


lye (plural lyes)

  1. (Britain, railways) A short side line, connected with the main line; a turn-out; a siding.


lye (third-person singular simple present lyes, present participle lying, simple past and past participle lyed)

  1. Obsolete spelling of lie
    • (Can we date this quote by John Dryden and provide title, author's full name, and other details?)
      But when his foe lyes prostrate on the plain,
      He sheaths his paws, uncurls his angry mane;
      And, pleas'd with bloudless honours of the day,
      Walks over, and disdains th' inglorious Prey.
    • (Can we date this quote by John Donne and provide title, author's full name, and other details?), Loves Diet
      Now negligent of sports I lye,
      And now as other Fawkners use,
      I spring a mistresse, sweare, write, sigh and weepe:
      And the game kill'd, or lost, goe talk, and sleepe.

Part or all of this entry has been imported from the 1913 edition of Webster’s Dictionary, which is now free of copyright and hence in the public domain. The imported definitions may be significantly out of date, and any more recent senses may be completely missing.
(See the entry for lye in
Webster’s Revised Unabridged Dictionary, G. & C. Merriam, 1913.)