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[lith-ahrj, li-thahrj] /ˈlɪθ ɑrdʒ, lɪˈθɑrdʒ/
a yellowish or reddish, odorless, heavy, earthy, water-insoluble, poisonous solid, PbO, used chiefly in the manufacture of storage batteries, pottery, lead glass, paints, enamels, and inks.
Compare red lead.
1350-1400; earlier litarge, litharge, Middle English litarge < Middle French, apocopated variant of litargire < Latin lithargyrus < Greek lithárgyros spume of silver, equivalent to lith- lith- + árgyros silver Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for litharge
  • litharge is used primarily in the manufacture of various ceramics products.
  • litharge is used primarily in the manufacture of various ceramic products.
British Dictionary definitions for litharge


another name for lead monoxide
Word Origin
C14: via Old French from Latin lithargyrus, from Greek, from lithos stone + arguros silver
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
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Encyclopedia Article for litharge

one of two mineral forms of lead(II) oxide (PbO). It is found with the other form, massicot, as dull or greasy, very heavy, soft, red crusts in the oxidized zone of lead deposits, as at Cucamonga Peak and Fort Tejon, Calif., U.S., and near Hailey, Idaho, U.S. For mineralogic properties, see oxide mineral (table). Synthetic lead(II) oxide is called litharge, though it is a mixture of litharge and massicot.

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Encyclopedia Britannica, 2008. Encyclopedia Britannica Online.
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