nitric acid

noun (1)
ni·​tric acid | \ ˈnī-trik- How to pronounce nitric acid (audio) \

Definition of nitric acid

 (Entry 1 of 4)

: 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)

nitric oxide

noun (2)

Definition of nitric oxide (Entry 2 of 4)

: a colorless poisonous gas NO formed by oxidation of nitrogen or ammonia that is present in the atmosphere and also in mammals where it is synthesized from arginine and oxygen and acts as a vasodilator and as a mediator of cell-to-cell communication (as between nerve cells) — compare nitrous oxide

fuming nitric acid

noun (3)

Definition of fuming nitric acid (Entry 3 of 4)

: concentrated nitric acid containing dissolved nitrogen oxides prepared as either a colorless to pale yellow or a red to brown corrosive poisonous liquid and used especially as a nitrating agent and as a powerful oxidizing agent (as in rocket propellants)

nitric anhydride

noun (4)

Definition of nitric anhydride (Entry 4 of 4)

Examples of nitric acid in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

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,, "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,, "Simi Valley chemical fire spews black smoke, forces evacuations and sheltering order," 25 June 2019 Those air pollutants react with water, oxygen, and other substances to form airborne sulfuric and nitric acid. National Geographic, "Acid rain, explained," 12 June 2019 Loaded with water and potassium and low in sodium, cucumbers also inhibit the production of nitric acid production and inflammatory enzymes like cyclo-oxygenase 2 (COX-2), which helps them reduce swelling. Stephanie Feuer, Good Housekeeping, "9 Fruits And Vegetables That Are Natural Diuretics—No Pills Necessary," 5 Sep. 2017 The researchers can make the surface by treating standard steel with electricity while submerging it in a nitric acid solution. Avery Thompson, Popular Mechanics, "Researchers Create Bacteria-Killing Steel Nanospikes," 19 Dec. 2017 A few days later, in another incident near a factory, villagers waded into a ditch coursing with nitric acid and rescued a dog that was trapped. Jeffrey Gettleman, New York Times, "Stray Dogs Started Turning Blue. Then the Street Mobilized.," 27 Sep. 2017

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

Molecular studies have suggested that pretomanid has a complex killing method, potentially busting the bacteria’s cell walls while also poisoning the germs by the release of nitric oxide. Beth Mole, Ars Technica, "How a new antibiotic destroys extremely drug-resistant tuberculosis," 16 Aug. 2019 Excess free hemoglobin will therefore rob the blood of nitric oxide, constrict blood vessels and potentially cause hypertension and reduced blood flow to the organs. Quanta Magazine, "Icefish Study Adds Another Color to the Story of Blood," 22 Apr. 2019 The detectors can provide breakdowns of how much carbon dioxide, carbon monoxide, nitric oxide, nitrogen dioxide, ozone and particulate matter are in the environment. Travis Fedschun, Fox News, "Google Street View cars to be outfitted with pollution sensors to measure US, Europe air quality," 18 Sep. 2018 Here’s what else this veggie can do: Help your heart: The glycolipids in spinach promote the body’s production of nitric oxide (NO), which helps dilate blood vessels and reduce atherosclerosis. Jaclyn London, Ms, Rd, Cdn, Good Housekeeping, "Spinach Is the Legit Superfood You Need in Your Life," 22 Mar. 2018 Red Beets Beets are high in nitrates, which our bodies use to make nitric oxide, which in turn signals blood vessels to relax, helping widen the arteries and increase circulation, bringing more oxygen to hardworking muscles. Sara Angle, Outside Online, "Athletes, Stock Up on This Powerhouse Summer Produce," 22 June 2018 The body converts that nitrate to nitrite and then to nitric oxide, which seems to make your muscles work more efficiently during endurance exercise. Alex Hutchinson, Outside Online, "Sunlight May Be the Next Beet Juice," 22 Mar. 2018 The paper also contains a line that the vampire Master didn't considered: Big nuke blasts will block sunlight but the temperature extremes also cause a lot of nitric oxides to enter the atmosphere. Joe Pappalardo, Popular Mechanics, "Hollywood Has No Idea How Nukes Work," 2 Apr. 2018 Essentially, nitric oxide is a gas that your body produces to help cells communicate better with one another. Emily Abbate, GQ, "A Complete Guide to Pre-Workout Supplements," 4 Apr. 2018

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

Noun (1)

1788, in the meaning defined above

Noun (2)

1789, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for nitric acid

Noun (1)

French nitrique, from nitre niter, from Middle French

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Time Traveler for nitric acid

The first known use of nitric acid was in 1788

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More Definitions for nitric acid

nitric acid


English Language Learners Definition of nitric acid

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

nitric acid

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


Medical Definition of nitric acid

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

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Spanish Central: Translation of nitric acid

Nglish: Translation of nitric acid for Spanish Speakers Encyclopedia article about nitric acid

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