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[nahy-trahyt] /ˈnaɪ traɪt/
Chemistry. a salt or ester of nitrous acid.
Nutrition. sodium nitrite.
Origin of nitrite
1790-1800; nitr- + -ite1 Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for nitrite
  • Pollutants from fertilizer runoff, such as nitrate and nitrite, are also removed.
  • The researchers calculated that such an amount of light would be enough to break down nitrite in the air.
  • Clostridia bacteria also have an enzyme that reduces nitrate to nitrite.
  • The former turns ammonia into nitrite, which the latter then converts to nitrate, a potent fertilizer.
  • Sodium nitrite and nitrate undergo chemical changes in the human stomach to become potent carcinogens.
  • These bacteria set the normal basal nitric oxide level by oxidizing the ammonia in sweat into nitric oxide and nitrite.
  • nitrite binds to hemoglobin to form methemoglobin, a form that does not carry oxygen.
  • nitrite drugs such as amyl nitrite are volatile liquids which are inhaled.
British Dictionary definitions for nitrite


any salt or ester of nitrous acid
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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nitrite in Medicine

nitrite ni·trite (nī'trīt')

  1. The univalent radical NO2.

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

The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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nitrite in Science
A salt or ester of nitrous acid, containing the group NO2. Nitrites are an important component of the nitrogen cycle and are used as food preservatives. Compare nitrate.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary
Copyright © 2002. Published by Houghton Mifflin. All rights reserved.
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