Brine, in the scientific sense, is water that is so saturated with salts (and other dissolved minerals), that the salt concentration exceeds that of ordinary sea water or ocean water. Typically, sea water has a salt concentration ranging from 35 to 50 parts per thousand (ppt), while brine has a salt concentration greater than 50 parts per thousand (ppt).

Natural examples of brine include the waters of the Dead Sea (formerly named Salt Sea), Mono Lake and Great Salt Lake. Man-made or artificial brine would be water that is salinated until it becomes saturated with salt, exceeding 50 ppt, for cooking, cleaning, etc.

Brine creates an unsuitable environment for most organisms, including fish. Few organisms, however, are capable of tolerating and surviving the high salinity of brine. Such organisms, called halophiles, include certain species of bacteria and algae. A few other types of wildlife, such as certain species of brine fly, brine shrimp and flamingos are also capable of, not only tolerating brine, but thriving on it.

Brine (?), n. [AS. bryne a burning, salt liquor, brine, fr. brinnan, brynnan, to burn. See Burn.]


Water saturated or strongly inpregnated with salt; pickle; hence, any strong saline solution; also, the saline residue or strong mother liquor resulting from the evaporation of natural or artificial waters.


The ocean; the water of an ocean, sea, or salt lake.

Not long beneath the whelming brine . . . he lay. Cowper.


Tears; -- so called from their saltness.

What a deal of brine Hath washed thy sallow cheecks for Rosaline! Shak.

Brine fly Zool., a fly of the genus Ephydra, the larvae of which live in artificial brines and in salt lakes. -- Brine gauge, an instrument for measuring the saltness of a liquid. -- Brine pan, a pit or pan of salt water, where salt is formed by cristallization. -- Brine pit, a salt spring or well, from which water is taken to be boiled or evaporated for making salt. -- Brine pump Marine Engin., a pump for changing the water in the boilers, so as to clear them of the brine which collects at the bottom. -- Brine shrimp, Brine worm Zool., a phyllopod crustacean of the genus Artemia, inhabiting the strong brines of salt works and natural salt lakes. See Artemia. -- Brine spring, a spring of salt water. -- Leach brine Saltmaking, brine which drops from granulated salt in drying, and is preserved to be boiled again.


© Webster 1913.

Brine (?), v. t.


To steep or saturate in brine.


To sprinkle with salt or brine; as, to brine hay.


© Webster 1913.

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