noun[mass noun] Chemistry , dated
Lead acetate, a soluble white crystalline salt.
- Chemical formula: Pb(CH3CO2)2.
- It shouldn't have been, but white lead was used to make bread whiter and sugar of lead to make wine sweeter.
- Litharge and sugar of lead are used to-day only rarely as drying agents, having been displaced by the liquid manganese siccatives, which are easy to handle.
- Unlike most other salts, this type of lead acetate has a sweet rather than a salty taste, resulting in its sometimes being called sugar of lead and its use in ancient Rome as a wine sweetener.
Mid 17th century: so named because of its sweet taste.
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