nitrogen

noun, often attributive
ni·​tro·​gen | \ ˈnī-trə-jən How to pronounce nitrogen (audio) \

Definition of nitrogen

: a colorless tasteless odorless element that as a diatomic gas is relatively inert and constitutes 78 percent of the atmosphere and that is a constituent of organic compounds found in all living tissues — see Chemical Elements Table

Examples of nitrogen in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web

The nutrients — especially nitrogen — overfeed aquatic plants that eventually die and decompose, leaving a large section of the Gulf with little or no oxygen each summer. Washington Post, "Hurricane Barry’s rain and floods hammer Gulf environment," 13 July 2019 The project is designed to reduce the nitrogen content in the river. USA TODAY, "Roller coaster ghost town, Alaska heat, rock hyrax pups: News from around our 50 states," 8 July 2019 Most of the nitrogen pollutants reaching the bay, for instance, travel there as dissolved nitrate and are not affected at all by the Conowingo's sediment storage. Davd Mcfadden, baltimoresun.com, "Intensifying downpours threaten the Chesapeake," 6 July 2019 Podowski is studying what influence, if any, the quagga mussel excrement will have on the microbial populations of the lake, including the abundance or behavior of nitrogen-processing microbes. Tony Briscoe, chicagotribune.com, "Minuscule microbes wield enormous power over the Great Lakes. But many species remain a mystery.," 5 July 2019 SpaceX outfitted it with cold nitrogen thrusters used to steady its descent until its steerable parachutes deploy that guide it to the waiting Ms. Tree. Richard Tribou, orlandosentinel.com, "SpaceX video shows Falcon Heavy fairing return to Earth," 4 July 2019 The science exhibits included how to make bottled rockets, make molecules out of marshmallows, DUI slime, elephant toothpaste and a demonstration of liquid nitrogen’s effect on flower petals. Brooke Lamantia And Austin Taylor, ExpressNews.com, "It’s a red, white and blue celebration at local Fourth of July parade," 4 July 2019 The treatment uses extreme cold temperatures produced by dry, vaporized nitrogen to briefly numb nerve endings. Tyra Mcclung, courant.com, "Afloat In Avon: Wellness Therapy Promotes Relaxation, Relieves Sports Injuries," 2 July 2019 Lawns also may have a washed out appearance with a yellow cast, which could be a nitrogen deficiency brought on by the rain. Jo Ellen Meyers Sharp, Indianapolis Star, "The Hoosier Gardener: Weather prime for fungus problems," 28 June 2019

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

1791, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for nitrogen

French nitrogène, from nitre niter + -gène -gen

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about nitrogen

Statistics for nitrogen

Last Updated

16 Jul 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for nitrogen

The first known use of nitrogen was in 1791

See more words from the same year

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for nitrogen

nitrogen

noun

English Language Learners Definition of nitrogen

: a chemical that has no color or smell and that makes up a large part of the atmosphere

nitrogen

noun
ni·​tro·​gen | \ ˈnī-trə-jən How to pronounce nitrogen (audio) \

Kids Definition of nitrogen

: a colorless odorless gaseous chemical element that makes up 78 percent of the atmosphere and forms a part of all living tissues

nitrogen

noun
ni·​tro·​gen | \ ˈnī-trə-jən How to pronounce nitrogen (audio) \

Medical Definition of nitrogen

: a common nonmetallic element that in the free form is normally a colorless odorless tasteless insoluble inert diatomic gas comprising 78 percent of the atmosphere by volume and that in the combined form is a constituent of biologically important compounds (as proteins, nucleic acids, and alkaloids) and hence of all living cells as well as of industrially important substances (as cyanides, fertilizers, dyes, and antibiotics) symbol N — see Chemical Elements Table

Keep scrolling for more

More from Merriam-Webster on nitrogen

Spanish Central: Translation of nitrogen

Nglish: Translation of nitrogen for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of nitrogen for Arabic Speakers

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about nitrogen

Comments on nitrogen

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

WORD OF THE DAY

something desired as essential

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

What's that Smell?! Quiz

  • wide eyed dog smelling rose
  • Someone who is hircine smells like a:
Name That Thing

Test your visual vocabulary with our 10-question challenge!

TAKE THE QUIZ
SCRABBLE® Sprint

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

TAKE THE QUIZ
Love words? Need even more definitions?

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