follow Dictionary.com

Today's Word of the Day means...

saltpeter

[sawlt-pee-ter] /ˌsɔltˈpi tər/
noun
1.
the form of potassium nitrate, KNO 3 , that occurs naturally, used in the manufacture of fireworks, fluxes, gunpowder, etc.; niter.
Also, saltpetre.
Origin
1275-1325
1275-1325; earlier salt peter; replacing Middle English sal peter, salpetre < Medieval Latin salpetrē, for Latin sal petrae salt of rock, so called because it commonly encrusts stones
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
Cite This Source
Word Origin and History for salt-peter
saltpeter
"potassium nitrate," c.1500, earlier salpetre (early 14c.), from O.Fr. salpetre, from M.L. sal petrae "salt of rock," from L. sal "salt" (see salt) + petra "rock, stone." So called because it looks like salt encrusted on rock.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
Cite This Source
salt-peter in Science
saltpeter
  (sôlt'pē'tər)   
See potassium nitrate.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary
Copyright © 2002. Published by Houghton Mifflin. All rights reserved.
Cite This Source

Word of The Day

Difficulty index for saltpeter

Some English speakers likely know this word

Word Value for salt

4
5
Scrabble Words With Friends

Quotes with salt-peter