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An impure alkali formerly made from the ashes of burned plants, especially saltworts.
- ‘Their ash (sometimes called barilla, the common name for one of them, Salsola soda) was used in the production of glass; hence the name ‘glasswort’.’
- ‘Halogeton sativus is one of the plants from which barilla was made.’
- ‘To make matters worse at the time he succeeded to the ownership of Barra, the Government reduced the duty on imported barilla, knocking out the prop which kept the kelping industry afloat.’
Early 17th century: from Spanish barrilla, diminutive of barra bar.
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