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Dilute $\ce{NaOH}$ can be prepared by adding a suitable amount of concentrated $\ce{NaOH}$.

What's the difference between "dilute $\ce{NaOH}$" and "aqueous $\ce{NaOH}$"?

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Dilute simply means that the concentration of the solute of interest, in this case $\ce{NaOH}$, is low relative to some reference. One could imagine a non-aqueous, dilute solution of $\ce{NaOH}$ in, say, methanol.

An aqueous solution is one where the solvent is water, regardless of the concentration of the dissolved solute(s).

So, for example, the following combinations of the terms are possible:

  • Concentrated aqueous solution - High $\ce{NaOH}$ concentration in a water solvent
  • Dilute aqueous solution - Low $\ce{NaOH}$ concentration in a water solvent
  • Concentrated methanolic solution - High $\ce{NaOH}$ concentration in a methanol solvent
  • Dilute methanolic solution - Low $\ce{NaOH}$ concentration in a methanol solvent
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