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When a compound precipitates out of solution, for example Calcium Carbonate from a water solution, it is called the precipitate.

What is the same compound called before it precipitates out - once it has dissolved? I found the word "electrolyte", but I'm unsure this applies to all solutions - only ionic, and I'm not sure a CaCO3 solution is ionic.

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I believe the term you are looking for is solute; a solute is a substance dissolved in another substance, known as a solvent.

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Having realised that Water is called a Solvent, I searched Google for "solvent and" and autocomplete told me that the word I'm after is "solute".

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Also - this may be interesting (I hope doesn't confuse the question you asked)

A solution is a mixture featuring solutes that have been dissolved, while a suspension is a mixture of liquids also containing solid particles that may not completely dissolve inside the liquid.

(From Ask.com)

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