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aqua regia

[ree-jee-uh] /ˈri dʒi ə/
noun, Chemistry
1.
a yellow, fuming liquid composed of one part nitric acid and three to four parts hydrochloric acid: used chiefly to dissolve metals as gold, platinum, or the like.
Also called nitrohydrochloric acid.
Origin
1600-1610
1600-10; < Neo-Latin: literally, royal water
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Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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British Dictionary definitions for aqua regia

aqua regia

/ˈriːdʒɪə/
noun
1.
a yellow fuming corrosive mixture of one part nitric acid and three to four parts hydrochloric acid, used in metallurgy for dissolving metals, including gold Also called nitrohydrochloric acid
Word Origin
C17: from New Latin: royal water; referring to its use in dissolving gold, the royal metal
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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aqua regia in Science
aqua regia
  (rē'jē-ə, rē'jə)   
A corrosive, fuming, volatile mixture of hydrochloric and nitric acids. Aqua regia is used for testing metals and dissolving platinum and gold.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary
Copyright © 2002. Published by Houghton Mifflin. All rights reserved.
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Encyclopedia Article for aqua regia

mixture of concentrated nitric and hydrochloric acids, usually one part of the former to three parts of the latter by volume. This mixture was given its name (literally, "royal water") by the alchemists because of its ability to dissolve gold and other so-called noble metals.

Learn more about aqua regia with a free trial on Britannica.com
Encyclopedia Britannica, 2008. Encyclopedia Britannica Online.
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