am·​mo·​nia | \ ə-ˈmō-nyə How to pronounce ammonia (audio) \

Definition of ammonia

1 : a pungent colorless gaseous alkaline compound of nitrogen and hydrogen NH3 that is very soluble in water and can easily be condensed to a liquid by cold and pressure

Examples of ammonia in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web That resulted in the discharge of cyanide and ammonia-nitrogen into the river and into Lake Michigan. London Gibson, Indianapolis Star, "Environmental groups sue the Indiana steel mill that killed thousands of fish in August cyanide spill," 12 Dec. 2019 The bigger problem is ammonia emissions from concentrated livestock operations. Erik Stokstad, Science | AAAS, "Nitrogen crisis from jam-packed livestock operations has ‘paralyzed’ Dutch economy," 4 Dec. 2019 These cleaners won’t leave hazy streaks behind like regular all-purpose and glass cleaners with ammonia can. Carolyn Forte, Good Housekeeping, "How to Clean A Glass Cooktop so it Looks Brand New Again," 30 Apr. 2019 In the 2008 study published in the journal Chemical Research in Toxicology, government researchers from Health Canada’s Safe Environments Programme found that pot smoke contained 20 times the ammonia levels as did tobacco smoke. Mary Emily O'hara, Allure, "Why People With Asthma Can Benefit From Edibles," 20 Apr. 2019 ArcelorMittal acknowledges that an Aug. 11 equipment failure at its sprawling Burns Harbor mill released a plume of concentrated cyanide and ammonia into a ditch that drains into the East Branch of the Little Calumet River. Michael Hawthorne,, "With EPA and Indiana on sidelines, groups threaten to sue steel mill for fish-killing chemical spills in Lake Michigan tributary," 7 Oct. 2019 The water is cleaned to such an extent, Kothari said, that compounds like chloramine — a combination of chlorine and ammonia commonly used to treat drinking water — have to be blended back in to resemble the taste of ordinary tap water. Dominic Fracassa,, "From toilets to taps: SF tests new water recycling program," 20 Nov. 2019 Finally, the third reactor transforms the hydrogen and nitrogen to ammonia. Robert F. Service, Science | AAAS, "New reactor could halve carbon dioxide emissions from ammonia production," 6 Nov. 2019 These groups are concerned about water contamination from runoff, ammonia from chicken feces, and other potential health risks arising from the production plant and poultry barns., "$4.99," 31 Oct. 2019

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'ammonia.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of ammonia

1788, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for ammonia

New Latin, from Latin sal ammoniacus sal ammoniac, literally, salt of Ammon, from Greek ammōniakos of Ammon, from Ammōn Ammon, Amun, an Egyptian god near whose temple at the Siwa oasis it was extracted

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Time Traveler for ammonia

Time Traveler

The first known use of ammonia was in 1788

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Statistics for ammonia

Last Updated

27 Dec 2019

Cite this Entry

“Ammonia.” The Dictionary, Merriam-Webster Inc., Accessed 21 January 2020.

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More Definitions for ammonia


How to pronounce ammonia (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of ammonia

: a colorless gas or liquid that has a strong smell and taste and that is used especially in cleaning products


am·​mo·​nia | \ ə-ˈmō-nyə How to pronounce ammonia (audio) \

Kids Definition of ammonia

1 : a colorless gas that is a compound of nitrogen and hydrogen, has a sharp smell and taste, can be easily made liquid by cold and pressure, and is used in cleaning products and in making fertilizers and explosives
2 : a solution of ammonia and water


am·​mo·​nia | \ ə-ˈmō-nyə How to pronounce ammonia (audio) \

Medical Definition of ammonia

1 : a pungent colorless gaseous alkaline compound of nitrogen and hydrogen NH3 that is very soluble in water and can easily be condensed to a liquid by cold and pressure

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More from Merriam-Webster on ammonia

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with ammonia

Spanish Central: Translation of ammonia

Nglish: Translation of ammonia for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of ammonia for Arabic Speakers Encyclopedia article about ammonia

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