nitric acid

noun
ni·​tric acid | \ ˈnī-trik- How to pronounce nitric acid (audio) \

Definition of nitric acid

: a corrosive liquid inorganic acid HNO3 used especially as an oxidizing agent, in nitrations, and in making organic compounds (such as fertilizers, explosives, and dyes)

Examples of nitric acid in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web The synthetic substance is a combination of ammonia and nitric acid. USA Today, "Massive explosion rocks Beirut: Before and after images show extensive damage," 6 Aug. 2020 It is made by combining ammonia gas with liquid nitric acid, which itself is made from ammonia. Gabriel Da Silva, Scientific American, "What Is Ammonium Nitrate, the Chemical that Exploded in Beirut?," 5 Aug. 2020 The fluid has a strong scent, resembling a mixture of nitric acid and ammonia, and causes a burning sensation if sprayed into the eyes. Meilan Solly, Smithsonian Magazine, "The World’s Most Interesting Insects," 29 Apr. 2020 Acid rain results when emissions from power plants, motor vehicles, and other fossil fuel combustion sources mix with moisture in the air to produce sulfuric and nitric acid. BostonGlobe.com, "The first verified example of recovery of an Adirondack lake rendered fishless by acid rain was Brooktrout Lake, where heritage strain trout were stocked in 2005 and found to be reproducing in 2010.," 9 Oct. 2019 Acid rain results when emissions from power plants, motor vehicles and other fossil fuel combustion sources mix with moisture in the air to produce sulfuric and nitric acid. Washington Post, "Trout found in Adirondack lake once soured by acid rain," 8 Oct. 2019 Acid rain results when emissions from power plants, motor vehicles and other fossil fuel combustion sources mix with moisture in the air to produce sulfuric and nitric acid. San Diego Union-Tribune, "Trout found in Adirondack lake once soured by acid rain," 8 Oct. 2019 On Friday, police said, officers raided an industrial building and seized about 2 pounds of powerful explosives, 10 gasoline bombs and nitric acid, as well as bullets, slingshots, knives and metal rods. Mike Ives, BostonGlobe.com, "Police fire tear gas and rubber bullets in Hong Kong as protesters target Chinese office," 21 July 2019 Inside the building, 75-gallon drums filled with nitric acid were burning, sending up thick, dark smoke, said Capt. Anthony Romero. Hannah Fry, latimes.com, "Simi Valley chemical fire spews black smoke, forces evacuations and sheltering order," 25 June 2019

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

1788, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for nitric acid

French nitrique, from nitre niter, from Middle French

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Time Traveler for nitric acid

Time Traveler

The first known use of nitric acid was in 1788

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Statistics for nitric acid

Cite this Entry

“Nitric acid.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/nitric%20acid. Accessed 2 Dec. 2020.

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More Definitions for nitric acid

nitric acid

noun
How to pronounce nitric acid (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of nitric acid

: a strong acid that contains nitrogen and that is used in making fertilizers, explosives, etc.

nitric acid

noun
ni·​tric acid | \ ˈnī-trik- How to pronounce nitric acid (audio) \

Kids Definition of nitric acid

: a strong liquid acid that contains hydrogen, nitrogen, and oxygen and is used in making fertilizers, explosives, and dyes

nitric acid

noun

Medical Definition of nitric acid

: a corrosive liquid inorganic acid HNO3 used especially as an oxidizing agent, in nitrations, and in making organic compounds

More from Merriam-Webster on nitric acid

Nglish: Translation of nitric acid for Spanish Speakers

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about nitric acid

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