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hard water

water that contains magnesium, calcium, or iron salts and therefore forms a soap lather with difficulty. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2016.
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Examples from the Web for hard-water
Historical Examples
  • A French commissioner reported that apparently people in hard-water districts had a better physique than in soft-water districts.

    Rural Hygiene Henry N. Ogden
  • These crispy croutons answer as a substitute for hard-water crackers and are also relished by most people.

    The Whitehouse Cookbook (1887) Mrs. F.L. Gillette
  • Every drop of hard-water we consumed had to be brought to our doors and paid for by the “Hessian” or bucket.

hard-water in Culture

hard water definition

Water in which dissolved minerals make it difficult to produce a lather with soap.

Note: Hard water is usually associated with well water in regions where the rocks contain a large proportion of iron-bearing minerals.
The American Heritage® New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition
Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Company.
Published by Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved.
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