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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 nutrients
  • Spinach brings a variety of nutrients to this appealing frittata.
  • The researchers expect less excess nutrients in the runoff as the plants on the roof continue to grow.
  • And plant breeders tend to raise cereals which maximise calories, not nutrients.
  • They may be unhealthy and lacking in vital nutrients.
  • nutrients that leach from foods into the canning liquid can be reclaimed if the liquid is added to a soup, stew or sauce.
  • Better yet, bugs provide more nutrients than beef or fish, gram for gram.
  • Vitamins and minerals in supplements are synthetic forms of the nutrients.
  • Rotate agricultural crops to prevent the sapping of nutrients.
  • One of the problems with boiling veggies is that the nutrients leech out into the water.
  • The reasoning behind the recommendation is that natural colors often reflect what nutrients a food contains.
British Dictionary definitions for nutrients


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
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Word Origin and History for nutrients



"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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nutrients 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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nutrients 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 nutrients


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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