One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
Any of the range of hexagonal basic hydrated sulphates of sodium, potassium, and aluminium, (Na,K)Al₃(SO₄)₂(OH)₆, which have the proportion of sodium greater than that of potassium and are found as white crystals; specifically the sodic end-member of this series.
Early 20th century. From natro- + alunite.
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