[noo-tree-uhnt, nyoo-]
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

nonnutrient, adjective, noun Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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World English Dictionary
nutrient (ˈnjuːtrɪənt)
1.  any of the mineral substances that are absorbed by the roots of plants for nourishment
2.  any substance that nourishes an organism
3.  providing or contributing to nourishment: a nutrient solution
[C17: from Latin nūtrīre to nourish]

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
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Word Origin & History

1650 (adj.), "providing nourishment," from L. nutrientem (nom. nutriens), prp. of nutrire "nourish" (see nourish). The noun meaning "a nutritious substance" is first attested 1828, from the adj.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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American Heritage
Medical Dictionary

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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American Heritage
Science Dictionary
nutrient   (n'trē-ənt)  Pronunciation Key 
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 Britannica


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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Example sentences
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.
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