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

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According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, anhydrous ammonia is a colorless gas that can cause breathing difficulties, burns, blisters and is fatal if breathed in high concentrations. Frank Abderholden, Lake County News-Sun, "Beach Park ammonia spill: Lake County Sheriff's Office releases body camera image of toxic cloud," 7 June 2019 Jupiter’s stripes and swirls are cold, windy clouds of ammonia and water, floating in an atmosphere of hydrogen and helium. Doreen Christensen,, "See breathtaking views of Jupiter and its moons with binoculars on Monday," 6 June 2019 With their permeable amphibian skin, axolotls are particularly vulnerable to the ammonia, heavy metals, and other toxins carried by human excrement. Samantha Schipani, Smithsonian, "How to Save The Paradoxical Axolotl," 8 Jan. 2018 Follow the pros' advice Choose compost that has a loose texture, is dark brown or black, and has an earthy or musty smell (no ammonia or sewer odor). Leah Zerbe, Good Housekeeping, "The Right Way To Buy Quality Organic Compost For Your Garden," 27 July 2017 In 2016 global carbon-dioxide sales were worth just over $2bn—minuscule amounts compared with $49bn-worth of ammonia sales. The Economist, "Shortages of carbon dioxide in Europe may get worse," 5 July 2018 What about the cartridge that captures the ammonia? Sandy Bauers,, "Going green isn't just for the Eagles: Area workplaces embrace sustainability," 15 Mar. 2018 Many glass and window cleaners contain ammonia, so never mix those with bleach. Lisa Freedman, Good Housekeeping, "6 Cleaning Products You Should Never, Ever Mix," 19 Dec. 2017 Litter boxes that aren’t cleaned regularly enough can contain buildups of urine and feces, resulting in dangerous ammonia fumes. Elly Belle, Teen Vogue, "How Cat Poop Can Affect Your Health," 9 Aug. 2018

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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Statistics for ammonia

Last Updated

14 Jun 2019

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Time Traveler for ammonia

The first known use of ammonia was in 1788

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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

Comments on ammonia

What made you want to look up ammonia? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


to move with exaggerated bouncy motions

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