Difference Between Lie and Lye

Lie vs Lye

Lie and lye are two words in English language that have the same pronunciations making it difficult for the listener to ascertain which one of the two has been spoken. However, the meanings of the two words that happen to be homonyms are totally different with no connection whatsoever making it easier for the learners of the language. There are still people who make the mistake of using lye in place of lie while writing. This article attempts to highlight the differences between lie and lye to remove all confusion from the minds of the readers.


Lie is a word that means a false statement or a statement that does not contain the truth. To lie is to tell something that is false. However, there is another meaning of to lie that reflects the act of moving into a resting position on a couch or a bed. Lie as in telling a lie comes from German Leoga. On the other hand, to assume a resting position as in another lie comes from Latin Lectus that literally means bed. Take a look at the following examples.

• Mom asked me to lie down on bed

• It is not proper to tell a lie

• He lied to me

• Lie down Tommy!

• Is he going to lie on the couch all day long?


Lye is a word that is used for a strong alkali solution that finds many uses in home and in industry. Lye is an integral composition in the soap industry as it is used to make soaps and detergents. It is a highly concentrated solution of NaOH or KOH. Lye happens to be a great cleaner and is typically used as a cleaning agent in households where it is used to clean ovens and drains. Lye helps in dissolving grease and oil as it converts them into products that are water soluble.

However, lye is caustic in nature and can cause scarring of the skin. One should be careful while using it for cleaning purposes as it can even make a person blind if it goes into eyes accidentally.

Lie vs Lye

• Lie has two meanings, one of which is to move to a resting position. The other lie is a verb that refers to the act of making a false statement.

• Lye is a chemical compound that is strongly alkaline and used in households and in industries.

• Lye is used in soap and detergent manufacturing while, in homes, it works as a cleaning agent.

• Lie as a noun means a false statement while to lie can mean either getting into a resting position or to make a false statement.

• Lie in falsehood has a German origin whereas Lie in resting position has a Latin origin.