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potassium (n.)

metallic element, 1807, coined by English chemist Sir Humphrey Davy from Modern Latin potassa, Latinized form of potash (q.v.). Davy first isolated it from potash. Symbol K is from Latin kalium "potash," from Arabic al-qaliy "the ashes, burnt ashes" (see alkali).

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Definitions of potassium from WordNet

potassium (n.)
a light soft silver-white metallic element of the alkali metal group; oxidizes rapidly in air and reacts violently with water; is abundant in nature in combined forms occurring in sea water and in carnallite and kainite and sylvite;
Synonyms: k / atomic number "
From wordnet.princeton.edu