verb (used with object), nitrified, nitrifying.
to oxidize (ammonia, ammonium compounds, or atmospheric nitrogen) to nitrites, nitrates, or their respective acids, especially by bacterial action.
to impregnate with nitrogen or nitrogen compounds.
to treat or combine with nitrogen or its compounds.
(formerly) to convert into niter.

1820–30; < French nitrifier. See nitr-, niter, -i-, -fy

nitrifiable, adjective Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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World English Dictionary
nitrify (ˈnaɪtrɪˌfaɪ)
vb , -fies, -fying, -fied
1.  to treat or cause to react with nitrogen or a nitrogen compound
2.  to treat (soil) with nitrates
3.  (of nitrobacteria) to convert (ammonium compounds) into nitrates by oxidation

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
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Example sentences
The facility uses facultative bacteria to nitrify the leachate ammonium to nitrate.
The oxidation basin is operated to nitrify and denitrify, reducing both the ammonia and nitrate concentrations in the wastewater.
At no time did the system nitrify at the loading conditions evaluated.
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