epsom salts

Epsom salt

noun
Often, Epsom salts. Chemistry, Pharmacology. hydrated magnesium sulfate, MgSO 4 ⋅7H 2 O, occurring as small colorless crystals: used in fertilizers, the dyeing of fabrics, leather tanning, etc., and in medicine chiefly as a cathartic.

Origin:
1760–70; after Epsom; so called from its presence in the local mineral water

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World English Dictionary
Epsom salts
 
n
(functioning as singular or plural) a medicinal preparation of hydrated magnesium sulphate, used as a purgative
 
[C18: named after Epsom, where they occur naturally in the water]

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Word Origin & History

Epsom salts
1770, obtained from Epsom water, the water of a mineral spring at Epsom in Surrey, England. The place name is recorded c.973 as Ebbesham, lit. "Ebbi's homestead," from the name of some forgotten Anglo-Saxon.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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American Heritage
Medical Dictionary

Epsom salts Ep·som salts (ěp'səm)
pl.n.
Hydrated magnesium sulfate, used as a cathartic and as an agent to reduce inflammation.

The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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American Heritage
Science Dictionary
Epsom salts   (ěp'səm)  Pronunciation Key 
A bitter, colorless, crystalline salt, used in making textiles, in fertilizers, for medical purposes, and as an additive to bath water to soothe the skin. Chemical formula: MgSO4·7H2O.
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Copyright © 2002. Published by Houghton Mifflin. All rights reserved.
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