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nitre

[nahy-ter] /ˈnaɪ tər/
noun, Chiefly British
1.
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Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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British Dictionary definitions for nitre

nitre

/ˈnaɪtə/
noun
1.
another name for potassium nitrate, sodium nitrate
Word Origin
C14: via Old French from Latin nitrum, from Greek nitronnatron
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
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Word Origin and History for nitre
n.

c.1400, "native sodium carbonate," from Old French nitre (13c.), from Latin nitrum, from Greek nitron, which is possibly of Eastern origin (cf. Hebrew nether "carbonate of soda;" Egyptian ntr). Originally a word for native soda, but also associated from Middle Ages with saltpeter (potassium nitrate) for obscure reasons; this became the predominant sense by late 16c.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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nitre in the Bible

(Prov. 25:20; R.V. marg., "soda"), properly "natron," a substance so called because, rising from the bottom of the Lake Natron in Egypt, it becomes dry and hard in the sun, and is the soda which effervesces when vinegar is poured on it. It is a carbonate of soda, not saltpetre, which the word generally denotes (Jer. 2:22; R.V. "lye").

Easton's 1897 Bible Dictionary
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5
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