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ammoniac (adj.)

late 14c., ammoniak, also armonyak, in reference to gums, earths or salts (sal ammoniac) used medicinally and held to have similar properties (see ammonia), from Old French ammoniac, armoniac, ultimately from Greek *ammoniakos, from the god-name Ammon (q.v.). The gum (Latin guttae ammoniaci) came from a wild plant that grew across North Africa and Asia. The earth (Latin bolus armenicus) was so called because the substance was found in Armenia; hence the medieval forms were confused with words from Greek harmonia (gum ammoniac was used as a binding agent) or Armenia.