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 Some 2,750 tons of ammonium nitrate that had been left lying around at the Beirut port caught fire, and a blast ripped through the city. Kim Ghattas, The Atlantic, "Lessons From a Place Where the Center Ground is Gone," 1 Nov. 2020 On August 4, about 2,750 tons of ammonium nitrate exploded in the port of Lebanon’s capital, Beirut. Theresa Machemer, Smithsonian Magazine, "Beirut Blast Was Among History’s Largest Accidental Explosions," 7 Oct. 2020 Last month, a warehouse filled with nearly 3,000 tons of ammonium nitrate exploded in Beirut's port, killing nearly 200 people, wounding thousands and causing widespread destruction in the capital. Joseph Krauss, Star Tribune, "Israeli PM to UN: Hezbollah storing missiles in Beirut," 29 Sep. 2020 Lebanese authorities said the blast occurred when a fire at a warehouse ignited a cache of ammonium nitrate, an explosive material stored at the site for more than six years. Felicia Schwartz, WSJ, "Israel’s Prime Minister Says Hezbollah Is Stashing More Explosive Weapons in Beirut," 29 Sep. 2020 The crisis has been compounded by the coronavirus pandemic and more recently by the Aug. 4 explosion at Beirut's port caused by the detonation of thousands of tons of ammonium nitrate. NBC News, "Lebanon's prime minister-designate steps down in blow to French plan," 26 Sep. 2020 An investigation is still underway into the initial cause of a fire which ignited 2,700 tons of ammonium nitrate stored at the port. Washington Post, "Blast levels Hezbollah-linked site in southern Lebanon," 22 Sep. 2020 The explosive behind Beirut’s catastrophe: Since 1916, ammonium nitrate has been responsible for at least 30 disasters, some accidental and some intentional. National Geographic, "What we know about airborne coronavirus," 12 Aug. 2020 This incident is not the first time ammonium nitrate has caused devastation. Sophie Bushwick, Scientific American, "How Could the Beirut Explosion Happen? Experts Explain," 7 Aug. 2020

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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Time Traveler for ammonium nitrate

Time Traveler

The first known use of ammonium nitrate was in 1866

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Last Updated

12 Nov 2020

Cite this Entry

“Ammonium nitrate.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 27 Nov. 2020.

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More Definitions for ammonium nitrate

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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