fuller's earth

fuller's earth

noun
an absorbent clay, used especially for removing grease from fabrics, in fulling cloth, as a filter, and as a dusting powder.

Origin:
1515–25

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Collins
World English Dictionary
fuller's earth
 
n
a natural absorbent clay used, after heating, for decolorizing oils and fats, fulling cloth, etc

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
2009 © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
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American Heritage
Medical Dictionary

fuller's earth full·er's earth (ful'ərz)
n.
A highly absorbent claylike substance consisting of hydrated aluminum silicates, applied moistened with water as a poultice.

The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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Encyclopedia Britannica
Encyclopedia

fuller's earth

any fine-grained, naturally occurring earthy substance that has a substantial ability to adsorb impurities or colouring bodies from fats, grease, or oils. Its name originated with the textile industry, in which textile workers (or fullers) cleaned raw wool by kneading it in a mixture of water and fine earth that adsorbed oil, dirt, and other contaminants from the fibres.

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Encyclopedia Britannica, 2008. Encyclopedia Britannica Online.
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