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[noo-tree-uh nt, nyoo-] /ˈnu tri ənt, ˈnyu-/
nourishing; providing nourishment or nutriment.
containing or conveying nutriment, as solutions or vessels of the body.
a nutrient substance.
1640-50; < Latin nūtrient- (stem of nūtriēns), present participle of nūtrīre to feed, nourish; see -ent
Related forms
nonnutrient, adjective, noun Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for nutrient
  • Such knowledge helps blur the distinction between a nutrient and a drug.
  • It's all done without government subsidies, cost-sharing, nutrient management plans or confinement livestock systems.
  • If it's growing satisfactorily, its nutrient needs are being met.
  • nutrient cycling, hydrodynamics and plankton communities would also shift.
  • It may be light, or a familiar nutrient such as nitrate or phosphate.
  • Plants thrive off the nutrient remnants of their ancestors and peers.
  • However, no single nutrient can replace eating fruits and vegetables.
  • In the water, nitrogen serves as a major nutrient for microscopic organisms called phytoplankton.
  • Inflammation, hormone imbalances or nutrient deficiencies can cause depression.
  • When the cells are transferred to a nutrient bath that allows them to differentiate, they do so.
British Dictionary definitions for nutrient


any of the mineral substances that are absorbed by the roots of plants for nourishment
any substance that nourishes an organism
providing or contributing to nourishment: a nutrient solution
Word Origin
C17: from Latin nūtrīre to nourish
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 nutrient

"a nutritious substance," 1828, noun use of adjective (1640s) meaning "providing nourishment," from Latin nutrientem (nominative nutriens), present participle of nutrire "to nourish, suckle, feed, foster" (see nourish).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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nutrient in Medicine

nutrient nu·tri·ent (nōō'trē-ənt, nyōō'-)
A source of nourishment, especially an ingredient in a food.

The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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nutrient in Science
A substance that provides nourishment for growth or metabolism. Plants absorb nutrients mainly from the soil in the form of minerals and other inorganic compounds, and animals obtain nutrients from ingested foods.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary
Copyright © 2002. Published by Houghton Mifflin. All rights reserved.
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Encyclopedia Article for nutrient

substance that an organism must obtain from its surroundings for growth and the sustenance of life. So-called nonessential nutrients are those that can be synthesized by the cell if they are absent from the food. Essential nutrients cannot be synthesized within the cell and must be present in the food. In some animals, microorganisms living in the gut may synthesize essential nutrients, which are then released into the bloodstream. In most living organisms, nutrients provide not only the energy necessary for certain vital processes but also the various materials from which all structural and functional components can be assembled. See also metabolism; nutrition; and nutrition, human.

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Encyclopedia Britannica, 2008. Encyclopedia Britannica Online.
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