ammonium nitrate

noun

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

The oldest cars in the most humid conditions are at highest risk since the ammonium nitrate propellant in their airbag inflators is most likely to degrade over time. Nathan Bomey, USA TODAY, "South Florida vehicle owners urged to respond to recall of Takata exploding airbags," 8 June 2018 Armed with tons of TNT and ammonium nitrate, NASA worked with the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) to blast craters into this swath of land chosen for its many layers of volcanic cinders, which approximated the look and feel of the moon’s surface. Jennifer Nalewicki, Smithsonian, "Before Going to the Moon, Apollo 11 Astronauts Trained at These Five Sites," 17 July 2019 Takata used the volatile chemical ammonium nitrate to create a small explosion and inflate air bags. Washington Post, "GM again tries to avoid Takata air bag recall," 20 June 2019 Among the problems the U.S. Chemical Safety Board identified in the West Explosion was that locals weren't sufficiently aware of the fertilizer ammonium nitrate's ability to explode. Mark Collette, Houston Chronicle, "Five years after West Fertilizer explosion, EPA rolls back chemical safety reforms," 21 May 2018 Advertising Takata used ammonium nitrate to create a small explosion to inflate the bags. Tom Krisher, The Seattle Times, "Takata air bags claim another life after Arizona crash," 30 Mar. 2019 But unlike Takata, ARC of Knoxville uses ammonium nitrate only as a secondary method of inflating the bags. Tom Krisher, The Seattle Times, "Driver hurt by air bag shrapnel as investigation drags on," 20 Feb. 2019 Both use the explosive chemical ammonium nitrate to create a small explosion to inflate the bags in a crash, and both can blow apart metal canisters that hold the chemical. Tom Krisher, The Seattle Times, "Driver hurt by air bag shrapnel as investigation drags on," 20 Feb. 2019 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

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

18 Sep 2019

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The first known use of ammonium nitrate was in 1866

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More Definitions for ammonium nitrate

ammonium nitrate

noun

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

More from Merriam-Webster on ammonium nitrate

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about ammonium nitrate

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