ni·​trate | \ ˈnī-ˌtrāt How to pronounce nitrate (audio) , -trət \

Definition of nitrate

1 : a salt or ester of nitric acid
2 : sodium nitrate or potassium nitrate used as a fertilizer

Examples of nitrate in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web Researchers at Eindhoven University of Technology in the Netherlands have built a machine that produces cheap liquid fertilizer with high levels of nitrate using only the sun, water, and air. Lindsey Mcginnis, The Christian Science Monitor, "Points of Progress: Lab-grown meat sold in Singapore, and more," 12 Mar. 2021 Ammonium nitrate is classified as dangerous goods and all aspects of its use are tightly regulated. Gabriel Da Silva, Scientific American, "What Is Ammonium Nitrate, the Chemical that Exploded in Beirut?," 5 Aug. 2020 Actinomyces and Rothia—which play a key role in turning food’s nitrate into nitric oxide that helps regulate blood pressure—showed up in just about every sample. Popular Science, "The world’s most diverse group of bacteria lives inside your mouth," 5 Jan. 2021 Ammonium nitrate can continue to pose a problem for governments after its seizure. Adam Taylor, Washington Post, "After Beirut, ports around the world searched for a dangerous chemicals. Some didn’t like what they found.," 21 Aug. 2020 Potassium nitrate particularly helps charcoal burn faster, according to Wired. Jennifer Leman, Popular Mechanics, "Watch This Protester Instantly Neutralize Tear Gas," 31 May 2020 Ammonium nitrate has also caused other major industrial disasters, most recently in Bryan, Texas, in 2009, when another fertilizer processing plant caught fire, forcing the evacuation of over 80,000 nearby residents. Stephanie Pappas, Scientific American, "Texas Explosion Echoes Worst Industrial Accident Ever," 18 Apr. 2013 Ingesting high levels of nitrate, a nitrogen compound, can reduce red blood cells’ ability to transport oxygen, a condition that is especially dangerous for infants. Chaoqun Lu, The Conversation, "A few heavy storms cause a big chunk of nitrogen pollution from Midwest farms," 2 Nov. 2020 Drinking water with elevated levels of nitrate has been linked to potentially serious health problems, particularly for young infants. Jennifer Bjorhus, Star Tribune, "State urges Minnesota farmers to plant more vegetative cover to fight nitrate contamination," 27 Aug. 2020

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

1788, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for nitrate

French, from nitrique

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Time Traveler for nitrate

Time Traveler

The first known use of nitrate was in 1788

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Statistics for nitrate

Last Updated

14 Apr 2021

Cite this Entry

“Nitrate.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 9 May. 2021.

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More Definitions for nitrate



English Language Learners Definition of nitrate

: a chemical compound that contains oxygen and nitrogen and that is used in fertilizer


ni·​trate | \ ˈnī-ˌtrāt How to pronounce nitrate (audio) \

Kids Definition of nitrate

: a substance that is made from or similar in composition to nitric acid


ni·​trate | \ ˈnī-ˌtrāt, -trət How to pronounce nitrate (audio) \

Medical Definition of nitrate

: a salt or ester of nitric acid

More from Merriam-Webster on nitrate

Nglish: Translation of nitrate for Spanish Speakers Encyclopedia article about nitrate

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