Po·tas·si·um n. Chem. An Alkali element, occurring abundantly but always combined, as in the chloride, sulphate, carbonate, or silicate, in the minerals sylvite, kainite, orthoclase, muscovite, etc. Atomic weight 39.0. Symbol K (Kalium).
Note: ☞ It is reduced from the carbonate as a soft white metal, lighter than water, which oxidizes with the greatest readiness, and, to be preserved, must be kept under liquid hydrocarbons, as naphtha or kerosene. Its compounds are very important, being used in glass making, soap making, in fertilizers, and in many drugs and chemicals.
Potassium permanganate, the salt KMnO4, crystallizing in dark red prisms having a greenish surface color, and dissolving in water with a beautiful purple red color; -- used as an oxidizer and disinfectant. The name chameleon mineral is applied to this salt and also to potassium manganate.
Potassium bitartrate. See Cream of tartar, under Cream.
1. Chem. A reddish crust or sediment in wine casks, consisting essentially of crude cream of tartar, and used in marking pure cream of tartar, tartaric acid, potassium carbonate, black flux, etc., and, in dyeing, as a mordant for woolen goods; -- called also argol, wine stone, etc.
2. A correction which often incrusts the teeth, consisting of salivary mucus, animal matter, and phosphate of lime.
Cream of tartar. Chem. See under Cream.
Tartar emetic Med. Chem., a double tartrate of potassium and basic antimony. It is a poisonous white crystalline substance having a sweetish metallic taste, and used in medicine as a sudorific and emetic.
1. The rich, oily, and yellowish part of milk, which, when the milk stands unagitated, rises, and collects on the surface. It is the part of milk from which butter is obtained.
2. The part of any liquor that rises, and collects on the surface. [R.]
3. A delicacy of several kinds prepared for the table from cream, etc., or so as to resemble cream.
4. A cosmetic; a creamlike medicinal preparation.
In vain she tries her paste and creams,
To smooth her skin or hide its seams. --Goldsmith.
5. The best or choicest part of a thing; the quintessence; as, the cream of a jest or story; the cream of a collection of books or pictures.
Welcome, O flower and cream of knights errant. --Shelton.
Bavarian cream, a preparation of gelatin, cream, sugar, and eggs, whipped; -- to be eaten cold.
Cold cream, an ointment made of white wax, almond oil, rose water, and borax, and used as a salve for the hands and lips.
Cream cheese, a kind of cheese made from curd from which the cream has not been taken off, or to which cream has been added.
Cream gauge, an instrument to test milk, being usually a graduated glass tube in which the milk is placed for the cream to rise.
Cream nut, the Brazil nut.
Cream of lime. (a) A scum of calcium carbonate which forms on a solution of milk of lime from the carbon dioxide of the air. (b) A thick creamy emulsion of lime in water.
Cream of tartar Chem., purified tartar or argol; so called because of the crust of crystals which forms on the surface of the liquor in the process of purification by recrystallization. It is a white crystalline substance, with a gritty acid taste, and is used very largely as an ingredient of baking powders; -- called also potassium bitartrate, acid potassium tartrate, etc.
cream of tartar
n : a salt used especially in baking powder [syn: tartar, potassium