ni·trite | \ˈnī-ˌtrīt \

Definition of nitrite 

: a salt or ester of nitrous acid

Examples of nitrite in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web

An obituary on April 26 about Dr. Samuel S. Epstein, an authority on carcinogens, referred incorrectly to cyclamates and nitrites. New York Times, "Corrections: May 5, 2018," 4 May 2018 When cooked at high temperatures, nitrite and nitrate preservatives may react with compounds naturally found in meat to trigger the formation of toxins called nitrosamines. Jamie Ducharme, Time, "4 Ways to Make Grilling Healthier This Summer," 1 June 2018 Cyclamates are used as sweeteners, not preservatives; nitrites are used to cure hot dogs, not to dye them. New York Times, "Corrections: May 5, 2018," 4 May 2018 Crow said that each week the students test the following water quality parameters: pH, ammonia, nitrites, nitrates, dissolved oxygen, and temperature. James Ewinger,, "Perry High School students are raising trout (photos, video)," 14 Apr. 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 And a 1997 study in The Lancet showed that on the skin, nitrite in saliva is converted to nitric oxide, which is antimicrobial. Erika Engelhaupt, National Geographic, "How Dog and Cat 'Kisses' Can Turn Deadly," 24 Oct. 2017 The body digests nitrates and turns it into nitrites, which inhibits red blood cells' ability to carry oxygen. Special To The Oregonian,, "Farm communities face contaminated water from manure, nitrates, records reveal," 15 Aug. 2017 Out with the nitrates, nitrites, and preservatives; in with the cultured celery juice and cherry powder. Bryan Gruley,, "Why the Hatchet Men of 3G Spent $10 Million on a Better Oscar Mayer Weiner," 2 Aug. 2017

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'nitrite.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

See More

First Known Use of nitrite

1788, in the meaning defined above

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about nitrite

Statistics for nitrite

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for nitrite

The first known use of nitrite was in 1788

See more words from the same year

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for nitrite


ni·trite | \ˈnī-ˌtrīt \

Medical Definition of nitrite 

: a salt or ester of nitrous acid

Keep scrolling for more

Comments on nitrite

What made you want to look up nitrite? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


to reject or criticize sharply

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Words from Greek and Roman Mythology Quiz

  • the-triumph-of-venus-by-alessandro-magnasco
  • Boreal comes from the name of the ancient Greek god of which wind?
True or False

Test your knowledge - and maybe learn something along the way.

Bee Cubed

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.


Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!