nitrogen

[nahy-truh-juhn]
noun Chemistry.
a colorless, odorless, gaseous element that constitutes about four-fifths of the volume of the atmosphere and is present in combined form in animal and vegetable tissues, especially in proteins: used chiefly in the manufacture of ammonia, nitric acid, cyanide, explosives, fertilizer, dyes, as a cooling agent, etc. Symbol: N; atomic weight: 14.0067; atomic number: 7; density: 1.2506 g/l at 0°C and 760 mm pressure.

Origin:
1785–95; < French nitrogène. See nitro-, -gen

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World English Dictionary
nitrogen (ˈnaɪtrədʒən)
 
n
a.  a colourless odourless relatively unreactive gaseous element that forms 78 per cent (by volume) of the air, occurs in many compounds, and is an essential constituent of proteins and nucleic acids: used in the manufacture of ammonia and other chemicals and as a refrigerant. Symbol: N; atomic no: 7; atomic wt: 14.00674; valency: 3 or 5; density: 1/2506 kg/m³; melting pt: --210.00°C; boiling pt: --195.8°C
 b.  (as modifier): nitrogen cycle

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Etymonline
Word Origin & History

nitrogen
1794, from Fr. nitrogène, coined 1790 by Fr. chemist Jean Antoine Chaptal (1756-1832), from comb. form of Gk. nitron "sodium carbonate" (from Egyptian ntr) + Fr. gène "producing." The gas was discovered in analysis of nitric acid. Earlier name (1772) was mephitic air. The word nitre was
in use in late M.E. for "potassium nitrate, saltpetre" (c.1400).
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American Heritage
Medical Dictionary

nitrogen ni·tro·gen (nī'trə-jən)
n.
Symbol N
A nonmetallic element that constitutes nearly four fifths of the air by volume, occurring as a colorless, odorless, almost inert diatomic gas, N2, in various minerals and in all proteins. Atomic number 7; atomic weight 14.0067; melting point -210.00°C; boiling point -195.8°C; valence 3, 5.

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American Heritage
Science Dictionary
nitrogen   (nī'trə-jən)  Pronunciation Key 
Symbol N
A nonmetallic element that makes up about 78 percent of the atmosphere by volume, occurring as a colorless, odorless gas. It is a component of all proteins, making it essential for life, and it is also found in various minerals. Nitrogen is used to make ammonia, nitric acid, TNT, and fertilizers. Atomic number 7; atomic weight 14.0067; melting point -209.86°C; boiling point -195.8°C; valence 3, 5. See Periodic Table. See Note at oxygen.
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American Heritage
Cultural Dictionary

nitrogen definition


A chemical element that makes up about four-fifths of the atmosphere of the Earth. Its symbol is N.

Note: Like carbon, nitrogen is a necessary element in the tissues of living things.
The American Heritage® New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition
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Example sentences
Excess nitrogen feeds an explosion of algae, which eventually dies and sinks.
Ammonium nitrate also happens to be an excellent source of nitrogen for plants.
Roofs collect a lot of nitrogen from contaminants in the air.
Without nitrogen to fertilize crops, the world couldn't feed itself.
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