ammonium nitrate


Definition of ammonium nitrate 

: a colorless crystalline salt NH4NO3 used in explosives and fertilizers and in veterinary medicine

Examples of ammonium nitrate in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web

Timothy McVeigh used 4,000 pounds of ammonium nitrate in the truck bomb that devastated the Oklahoma City Federal Building in 1995 and killed 168 people. Kyle Mizokami, Popular Mechanics, "What Is Tannerite, the Supposed NYC Bombing Material?," 19 Sep. 2016 Not prohibiting ammonium nitrate being used in these bags is sinful. Washington Post, "Why are tens of thousands of Americans still driving around with explosive devices in their cars?," 22 Apr. 2018 In addition to identifying safety-inspection failures and other lax regulations, the CSB report found that very few people in West appeared aware of the explosive nature of the fertilizer-grade ammonium nitrate inside the West Fertilizer Co. The Washington Post,, "Pruitt moves to rescind regulations inspired by Texas chemical explosion that killed 15," 18 May 2018 Back on the island, one of the men lit a gas burner under a pan and used his bare hand to stir a splash of kerosene into white beads of solid ammonium nitrate. Aurora Almendral, New York Times, "In the Philippines, Dynamite Fishing Decimates Entire Ocean Food Chains," 15 June 2018 And the bombs themselves are easy to make: ammonium nitrate (a common fertilizer) and diesel fuel are mixed in an empty bottle and topped with a detonator and waterproof fuse, Woodman says. Katherine Kornei, Scientific American, "Gunshot Sensors Pinpoint Destructive “Fish Bombs”," 18 May 2018 Unlike most air-bag makers, Takata uses ammonium nitrate to trigger a small explosion that inflates the air bag when the vehicle strikes something. Ashley Halsey Iii, Houston Chronicle, "States reach $650 million deal over faulty air bags," 22 Feb. 2018 The middle of the cylinder is filled with a powdered mixture of ammonium perchlorate and ammonium nitrate, the oxidants. The Economist, "A rocket that devours itself," 31 May 2018 Takata uses the chemical ammonium nitrate to create small explosions to inflate air bags. Yuri Kageyama, USA TODAY, "Japanese air bag-maker Takata acquired by Key Safety Systems, president resigns," 12 Apr. 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'ammonium nitrate.' 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 ammonium nitrate

1866, in the meaning defined above

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Last Updated

27 Nov 2018

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Time Traveler for ammonium nitrate

The first known use of ammonium nitrate was in 1866

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ammonium nitrate


Medical Definition of ammonium nitrate 

: a colorless crystalline salt NH4NO3 used in explosives and fertilizers and in veterinary medicine as an expectorant and urinary acidifier

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