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sal volatile

[sal voh-lat-l-ee] /ˈsæl voʊˈlæt lˌi/
an aromatic alcoholic solution of ammonium carbonate, the chief ingredient in smelling salts.
Origin of sal volatile
1645-55; < New Latin: volatile salt Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the Web for sal-volatile
Historical Examples
  • He had some sal-volatile in his dressing-case, and he made her take it.

    The Soul Stealer Cyril Arthur Edward Ranger Gull
  • I actually wound up by administering some sal-volatile to her.'

    Robert Elsmere Mrs. Humphry Ward
  • My experience in such matters at once informed me that it was a case of sal-volatile, accompanied by sound advice.

    No Name Wilkie Collins
  • He was drinking a dose of sal-volatile, and admiring its opal tint.

    The Napoleon of Notting Hill Gilbert K. Chesterton
  • She went quickly upstairs, and took a strong dose of sal-volatile, even while she heard Miss Monro calling to her.

    A Dark Night's Work Elizabeth Gaskell
  • The drops and the sal-volatile is here, Miss, by your hand.'

    Uncle Silas J. S. LeFanu
  • Mary, who was on the point of nausea, went hastily into her dressing-room and poured out a dose of sal-volatile.

    Black Oxen Gertrude Franklin Horn Atherton
  • Why, if I'd ever been in a ring and seen him climbing over the ropes, I'd have been all to the sal-volatile.

    Options O. Henry
  • The nurse left the room, and almost immediately brought back some sal-volatile and water.

    Mary Barton Elizabeth Cleghorn Gaskell
  • At first sal-volatile and cold water produced no effect, but after a time she slowly, very slowly regained consciousness.

    Scottish Ghost Stories Elliott O'Donnell
British Dictionary definitions for sal-volatile

sal volatile

another name for ammonium carbonate
Also called spirits of ammonia, (archaic) hartshorn. a solution of ammonium carbonate in alcohol and aqueous ammonia, often containing aromatic oils, used as smelling salts
Word Origin
C17: from New Latin: volatile salt
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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Word Origin and History for sal-volatile

sal volatile


1650s, Modern Latin, literally "volatile salt" (see salt (n.) + volatile); ammonium carbonate, especially as used in reviving persons who have fainted.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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