Main definitions of borax in English

: borax1borax2

borax1

noun

  • [mass noun] A white compound which occurs as a mineral in some alkaline salt deposits and is used in making glass and ceramics, as a metallurgical flux, and as an antiseptic.

    • ‘To remove stains from clothing, try soaking fabrics in water mixed with borax, lemon juice, hydrogen peroxide, washing soda, or white vinegar.’
    • ‘Elzbieta has to trim the spoiled sausages, which have been treated with borax and glycerine, as well as trim meat that has fallen on the rat-infested floor.’
    • ‘If more alkalinity was needed, then borax, sodium metaborate, sodium carbonate, or even lye were used.’
    • ‘Much of this advice - paint windows white, soak curtains in borax, wear natural fibres, curl up on the ground during an attack - now seems darkly comical when set against the likely horrors and devastation of a nuclear strike on a city.’
    • ‘These are mixed with borax, a naturally occurring mineral.’
    • ‘After the 1870s, gold was discovered in the surrounding mountains, and borax deposits were found in the valley.’
    • ‘To remove mold that takes root in grout and on walls and windowsills, mix equal parts water and borax (a mineral-based powder sold in natural food stores) in a spray bottle, suggests Dadd.’
    • ‘Potassium salts, such as sylvite (potassium chloride), are used to produce fertilizers for the agricultural industry, while boron salts, especially borax, are a basic resource for the glass industry.’
    • ‘The flux also might contain silica, borax, soda ash, potassium nitrate and household flour.’
    • ‘By the end of the nineteenth century Chile was producing 50 percent of the world's borax.’
    • ‘On non-washable materials try a little borax or hydrogen peroxide to get the last traces out.’
    • ‘Fluxes of this type are usually based on borax, boric acid, or glass, which melts at copper alloy melting temperatures to provide a fluid slag cover.’
    • ‘To inhibit mold and prevent unpleasant odors in your garbage can, sprinkle 1/4 cup each of borax (a natural mineral found in the laundry aisle) and baking soda into the bottom of your empty garbage can.’
    • ‘Use natural, unscented laundry soap and add borax, washing soda or baking soda as a water softener.’
    • ‘In what may gone down as the ‘Big Pig Borax Bust’, 16 slaughterhouses processing pork meat were raided this week for operating outside of prescribed hours and using too much borax as a chemical preservative.’
    • ‘With the addition of borax or carbonate it gives higher contrast but may generate dichroic fog.’
    • ‘One member created an alternative cement for the concrete floor of our sauna, using fly ash (from coal burning plants, not waste dumps!), citric acid, lye, and borax.’
    • ‘The abnormal levels of borax and formalin for example have brought about concern for public safety.’
    • ‘He crushed the mineral and then fused half of it with borax in a platinum crucible.’
    • ‘Because borax could not be crystallized in fluid warmer than 77 degrees, no processing occurred at desert sites during the heat of the summer.’

Origin

Late Middle English: from medieval Latin, from Arabic būraq, from Pahlavi būrak.

Pronunciation

borax

/ˈbɔːraks/

Main definitions of borax in English

: borax1borax2

borax2

(also borak)

noun

Australian, NZ
informal, dated
  • [mass noun] Good-natured teasing or ridicule; banter:

    ‘they take a bit of borax, but that is part of the job’
    • ‘They take a bit of borax, but that is part of the job.’
    • ‘He poured the borax on him for not giving him enough racing room.’
    • ‘He likes to have a bit of borax from time to time.’

Origin

Early 19th century (as borak): Australian pidgin, based on Aboriginal burag no, not, later influenced by borax in spelling and pronunciation.

Pronunciation

borax

/ˈbɔːraks/