ni·​tro·​gen ˈnī-trə-jən How to pronounce nitrogen (audio)
: a nonmetallic chemical element with atomic number 7 that under standard conditions is a colorless, odorless, inert gas, that constitutes 78 percent of the Earth's atmosphere, and that is used especially in the industrial synthesis of ammonia, as a component of inert atmospheres, and in liquid form as a refrigerant
often used before another noun
the nitrogen cycle
nitrogen fertilizer
see Chemical Elements Table

Examples of nitrogen in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web Lethal injection remains Alabama's default method of execution unless an inmate requests nitrogen gas or the electric chair to carry out the death sentence. Emily Mae Czachor, CBS News, 30 May 2024 Since 2015, nitrogen hypoxia has been added as options in three states – Alabama, Mississippi and Oklahoma – without being tried. Jeanine Santucci, The Courier-Journal, 25 Jan. 2024 Trees in the floodplain also capture pollutants that would otherwise run into the river – a critical role along the Mississippi, which suffers from excess nitrogen and phosphorus that collects in the Dead Zone in the Gulf of Mexico. Madeline Heim, Journal Sentinel, 10 Jan. 2024 Alabama executed death row inmate Jamie Ray Mills on Thursday, marking the state's first execution since Kenneth Smith was put to death using nitrogen hypoxia in January. Emily Mae Czachor, CBS News, 30 May 2024 See all Example Sentences for nitrogen 

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'nitrogen.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History


French nitrogène, from nitre niter + -gène -gen

First Known Use

1791, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of nitrogen was in 1791

Dictionary Entries Near nitrogen

Cite this Entry

“Nitrogen.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 19 Jun. 2024.

Kids Definition


ni·​tro·​gen ˈnī-trə-jən How to pronounce nitrogen (audio)
: a colorless tasteless odorless element that occurs as a gas which makes up 78 percent of the atmosphere and that forms a part of all living tissues see element
nitrogenous adjective

Medical Definition


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

More from Merriam-Webster on nitrogen

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