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[n. nahy-treyt, -trit; v. nahy-treyt] /n. ˈnaɪ treɪt, -trɪt; v. ˈnaɪ treɪt/
Chemistry. a salt or ester of nitric acid, or any compound containing the univalent group –ONO 2 or NO 3 .
fertilizer consisting of potassium nitrate or sodium nitrate.
cellulose nitrate, a substance used as a film base in the early days of filmmaking.
Informal. nitrate film.
verb (used with object), nitrated, nitrating.
to treat with nitric acid or a nitrate.
to convert into a nitrate.
1785-95; nitr- + -ate2
Related forms
nitration, noun Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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Examples from the web for nitrates
  • Ammonia gets converted into nitrites and nitrates, which when sprinkled onto plants, allow them to grow larger.
  • It should be noted that algae growth happens in the presents of nitrates and phosphates, usually found in agricultural runoff.
  • The nitrates and other minerals can easily be recaptured and reprocessed by plants into a useable medium.
  • During this unit students will be testing their tap water for chlorine and nitrates.
  • These chemicals include nitrates and phosphates, which are often used as fertilizers.
  • Excess nitrates can choke freshwater ecosystems nutrient: noun: substance an organism needs for energy, growth, and life.
  • nitrates can have many side effects, some of which can be serious.
  • Your doctor may prescribe long-acting nitrates along with the calcium channel blockers.
  • nitrates and nitrites are nitrogen-oxygen chemical units which combine with various organic and inorganic compounds.
  • Farmers advised to test alternative cattle feed for nitrates.
British Dictionary definitions for nitrates


any salt or ester of nitric acid, such as sodium nitrate, NaNO3
a fertilizer consisting of or containing nitrate salts
(transitive) to treat with nitric acid or a nitrate
to convert or be converted into a nitrate
to undergo or cause to undergo the chemical process in which a nitro group is introduced into a molecule
Derived Forms
nitration, noun
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for nitrates



1794, from French nitrate (1787) or formed in English from nitre + -ate (3). Related: Nitrates.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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nitrates in Medicine

nitrate ni·trate (nī'trāt', -trĭt)

  1. The univalent radical NO3.

  2. A compound containing such a radical, such as a salt or ester of nitric acid.

v. ni·trat·ed, ni·trat·ing, ni·trates
To treat with nitric acid or a nitrate, usually to change an organic compound into a nitrate.
The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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nitrates in Science
A salt or ester of nitric acid, containing the group NO3. Nitrates dissolve extremely easily in water and are an important component of the nitrogen cycle. Compare nitrite.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary
Copyright © 2002. Published by Houghton Mifflin. All rights reserved.
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