ni·​tro·​glyc·​er·​in | \ ˌnī-trə-ˈglis-rən How to pronounce nitroglycerin (audio) , -ˈgli-sə- \
variants: or nitroglycerine

Definition of nitroglycerin

: an oily explosive poisonous liquid C3H5N3O9 used chiefly in making dynamite and in medicine as a vasodilator

Examples of nitroglycerin in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web It was used to produce nitroglycerin explosives, and also protected soldiers from trench foot. Lucy Jakub, Harper's magazine, "A View to a Krill," 2 Mar. 2020 Men too broke to escape a sweaty Latin American village leap at the chance to earn $2,000 apiece driving an emergency shipment of nitroglycerin 300 miles to extinguish an oil inferno for an American company. New York Times, "9 Movies About Work to Watch This Labor Day," 29 Aug. 2019 His nitroglycerin, lunch, clothing and three rifles were found in his truck. Tammy Ayer, The Seattle Times, "‘We have so many missing people’: Coroner tests remains found on Yakima River island as families wait, hope," 7 Aug. 2019 The League and 5 Star partnership, the weirdest of couples, is as stable as nitroglycerin. Josef Joffe, WSJ, "Italy’s Populist Flirtation Won’t Last," 3 June 2018 A few years ago, researchers revealed a technology called the Halo x-ray system, which allows baggage screeners to not only see items in suitcases and packages but can differentiate between substances, like shampoo and nitroglycerin. Jason Daley, Smithsonian, "Check Out These Awesome New 3D, Full-Color X-Rays," 13 July 2018 Ohio law bans most automatic weapons, often called machine guns, by grouping them with other dangerous items such as explosives, grenades and nitroglycerin. Chrissie Thompson,, "Which guns are legal in Ohio, Kentucky?," 22 Feb. 2018 Craddock torments the inhabitants of Las Mudas, shooting their leader in cold blood and torturing the barkeep with nitroglycerin. Josh Wigler, The Hollywood Reporter, "'Westworld' Answers a Shocking "Riddle" About the Series," 13 May 2018 Most wrap manufacturers use glycerol—a compound also used in, among other things, anti-freeze and the production of nitroglycerin. Nicola Temple, WSJ, "Give Processed Food a Break," 4 May 2018

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

1852, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for nitroglycerin

International Scientific Vocabulary

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The first known use of nitroglycerin was in 1852

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Cite this Entry

“Nitroglycerin.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 8 May. 2021.

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More Definitions for nitroglycerin



English Language Learners Definition of nitroglycerin

: a liquid that is used in making explosives and in medicine


variants: or nitroglycerine \ ˌnī-​trō-​ˈgli-​sə-​rən \

Kids Definition of nitroglycerin

: an oily liquid explosive from which dynamite is made


variants: or nitroglycerine \ ˌnī-​trə-​ˈglis-​(ə-​)rən How to pronounce nitroglycerin (audio) \

Medical Definition of nitroglycerin

: a heavy oily explosive poisonous liquid C3H5N3O9 used chiefly in making dynamites and in medicine as a vasodilator (as in angina pectoris)

called also trinitrin, trinitroglycerin

— see nitro-dur, nitrostat

More from Merriam-Webster on nitroglycerin

Nglish: Translation of nitroglycerin for Spanish Speakers Encyclopedia article about nitroglycerin

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