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[nahy-trik] /ˈnaɪ trɪk/
adjective, Chemistry
containing nitrogen, usually in the pentavalent state.
of or relating to niter.
Origin of nitric
1785-95; nitr- + -ic, modeled on French nitrique
Related forms
nonnitric, adjective Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for nitric
  • Acid rain describes any form of precipitation with high levels of nitric and sulfuric acids.
  • Nitrogen oxides react in the atmosphere to create nitric acid, which collects in clouds and water droplets and falls as acid rain.
  • These bacteria set the normal basal nitric oxide level by oxidizing the ammonia in sweat into nitric oxide and nitrite.
  • Alterations in nitric oxide physiology can have a profound effect on brain function.
  • The two enzymes work in tandem to regulate the production of nitric oxide, a gas that relaxes blood vessels.
  • The addition of nitric oxide, a gas that dilates blood vessels, may offer additional benefits.
  • The facility includes ammonia, urea, nitric acid and solution blending operations.
  • It aids in the body's synthesis of nitric oxide, which causes blood vessels to widen.
  • The discovery follows a finding that another simple gas, nitric oxide, can also signal nerve cells.
  • Have patients inhale nitric oxide to test the ability of blood vessels to open.
British Dictionary definitions for nitric


of or containing nitrogen, esp in the pentavalent state
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 nitric

1794, originally in reference to acid obtained initially from distillation of saltpeter; see nitre + -ic. Perhaps immediately from French nitrique. Known as aqua fortis, later acid spirit of nitre, then nitric acid. (1787) under the system ordered by Lavoisier.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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nitric in Science
Containing nitrogen, especially nitrogen with a valence of 5. Compare nitrous.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary
Copyright © 2002. Published by Houghton Mifflin. All rights reserved.
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